Be Prepared, Take Care and Stay Safe this Christmas

Public Health and NHS




Suffolk Public Health
and NHS tells us that last year winter was difficult for the health system across England, and Suffolk was no exception. For years health systems have seen increasing numbers of people who are living better for longer. This also means there are more people with several long term conditions.

There are a number of things you can do, or help someone you care for to do, to ensure that you don’t get caught out this winter:

  • Be prepared – stock up with cold remedies, pain killers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, stave off upset stomachs with anti-diarrhoea and rehydration mixtures, and keep plasters and bandages on hand for any cuts or scrapes.
  • Check your smoke alarms – with the Christmas preparations in full swing, don’t forget to ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order.
  • Get a flu vaccination – it will keep you from having a long recovery from this nasty illness, so book an appointment to get one if you haven’t already. People aged 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition or are pregnant are entitled to a free jab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly – for the time it takes you to sing happy birthday through twice, use hot water and soap to wash away all kinds of viruses from colds and diarrhoea to so much more.
  • Seek help from your pharmacist – they are qualified health professionals who can advise on everything from a cold to long-term conditions.  This is often the best and quickest way to get well. Your pharmacist will let you know if a GP appointment is required. Pharmacies are one of the most accessible sources of advice, with many open long hours incl. evenings and weekends. Here are the Norfolk and Suffolk christmas-and-new-year-pharmacy-opening-times
  • Eat well and drink at least eight cups of fluids a day – it keeps your brain and body working well.
  • Keep your home warm – By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18° – 21°C or 64°- 70°F) you can keep you well, especially avoiding chest infections. If you have a disability, are over 65 or live with children aged under 5 ring this local rate number for free advice on heating your home. 03456 037 686
  • Not feeling well – If you are unsure if you need urgent or emergency care, please call NHS 111 – trained professionals are on hand to guide you.
  • Beat the winter blues – talk to someone. Talk about your anxieties with someone else, a friend, relative or a group such as the Samaritans. Talking about the things that are worrying you can make a big difference. It is easy to get help from the Suffolk Wellbeing Service too. This is a free NHS service, suitable for people aged 16 + living in Suffolk. You can phone them on 0300 123 1781 or refer yourself via their website.

Do you have any Elderly and Vulnerable Neighbours?

Are you able to spend a few minutes to ensure that: On their own

  • they are not alone all the time
  • their paths are clear of snow and ice
  • they have plenty of food in
  • they are warm enough
  • they have sufficient medication to get through the holiday period
  • if they can use the internet, that they know where to look for information and support

Further information and support over the Christmas and New Year Period

Visiting friends and family this Christmas, or just venturing out, keep up to date with the latest road, rail and weather news.



Community Speed Watch

Suffolk Police LogoCommunity Speed Watch

Do you…

  • Have any spare time?
  • Want to reduce the speed of vehicles in your community?
  • Have young children?
  • Have pets that may wander around your neighbourhood?

Community Speed Watch makes a valuable contribution to road safety within the Ipswich District and we seek additional volunteers.  The police will provide the right level of reassurance and enforcement but officers cannot always carry out speed enforcement checks in every location that wants them on a regular basis.

Can you spare 1 hour a week?

Why not get together with like-minded members of the community and use speed detection equipment to monitor traffic speeds in your community.  This will help to raise awareness and the dangers of speeding in order to help improve the safety of your community.

Check out What’s involved

A film has been produced which explains how communities can work together to reduce speeding in their area.

So if you can spare a little of your time and are interested in joining there are a number of ways you can speak to someone about it.  You can contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team, or Email:
or Call 101 and ask for your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

More information can be found in this leaflet.


Staying Safe at Outside Events

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place in and around Suffolk in 2016, you may also be travelling out of County to events too.  We would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety at these events, so in partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during August may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Going Back to School? Stay Safe

With the School Summer Holidays nearly over it will soon be time for children to return to their place of learning.  Whether returning to an old school or joining a new school, academy or college, lots of children will be making a journey and many could be cycling.

The following information and advice looks at individual personal safety and on keeping bicycles safe.  Here are a few things you can do now to improve your safety and make you more visible:

  • Ensure a Hi-Viz outer garment or strip is worn at all times when cycling
  • Wear a quality Helmet
  • Fit reliable front and rear lights (particularly as the autumnal mornings and evenings will soon be drawing in)

Suffolk County Council’s Children’s & Young People’s department has lots of practical advice on walking and cycling to school.  Here you can find out about:

  • Cycling and walking to schoolBike to School
  • Schools Road Safety Education
  • Cyclist Training
  • School Crossing Patrols
  • School Travel Plans

The Suffolk Roadsafe website has also got lots of advice and information on being road safe.

Some points to think about:

  • If you are taking your children to school in the car make sure that they are using the safest car seats available.  Check out this information from ROSPA.
  • Park a reasonable distance from the school and walk. Don’t put someone else’s safety at risk by poor school gate parking.
  • As you walk, discuss your journey with your child. Start to allow them a little bit of independence as they start to show traffic awareness.
  • If they are walking on their own, consider encouraging them to wear brighter clothing, particularly as the days grow shorter.
  • Cycling is an excellent way to get to school. Accompany younger children yourself and get older children to attend a “Bikeability” course.
  • Make sure your child’s bike is regularly maintained and that they know how to check their own bike for safety. Here is a quick ABC check, demonstrated on YouTube, that your child can learn to do before each bike ride.
  • If your children are starting High School, discuss (and preferably walk/cycle) the route before the first day of “Big school”.
  • If they are travelling by bus for the first time, make sure that they know how to behave. Poor bus behaviour can affect the driver’s concentration. Make sure that they know what to do in an emergency (lost bus-pass, missed the bus etc.).

Suffolk Constabulary are also keen for cyclists to ride safely, keeping both themselves and pedestrians safe. Their information is also about helping avoid becoming a victim of cycle theft.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.  Their website includes a section on ’keeping your child safe on a bike’.

Many children are also driven to school, so it is equally important to keep your child safe in the car.   Twelve children under 10 are killed or injured as passengers in cars every day. To help prevent further death and serious injury, ensure that each child car seat has been fitted correctly and car seat belts used by children are adjusted correctly.  CAPT also has guidance on ‘keeping your child safe in the car‘.

Protect your Bike

Remember your bike is also vulnerable even at home:

  • Always lock your bike with a quality lock
  • Register your bike for free on immobilise
  • Protect bike through bike register


Staying Safe on Suffolk’s Roads

Suffolk County Council Highways Department are now working with KierMG as

Suffolk Highways Logo

to maintain, manage and improve the highway network in Suffolk.

If you are travelling to meet up with family and friends this Christmas, from the Suffolk Highways webpage you can access the latest information on the latest on salting and gritting across the county.  You can also Follow on Twitter @suff_highways.

From the Roadworks and Improvements webpage, you can also get access to the website.  This site provides details of roadworks, road closures and other information for road users across the whole country.  Here is an example of how that information is displayed:

roadworks website

Click on any of the warning signs near to an area of interest (Woodbridge has been used in the example below) to bring up more detail:


You can also sign up to receive free Roadwork Alerts direct to your email or mobile phone.

We hope that you find these Christmas Community Safety Messages informative and helpful.

Stay Safe