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Keep warm and well

  • Public health

Advice and assistance to help Barnet residents keep warm and well this winter.

Joule Tool, a quick and simple online advice tool

Joule Tool is an online tool designed to ask seven simple questions and will tailor an information sheet specific for you, so that you can keep warm and well.

If you would prefer to talk to one of the Keep Warm and Well team they will be happy to advise you, please call them on 0208 359 7441 or email them on winterwell@barnet.gov.uk.

Is your heating broken?

If you are a Barnet Homes tenant and you have an issue with your heating, please call Barnet Homes on 080 0389 5225 or email Talk2Us@barnethomes.org

If you rent your home and there's a serious defect which has not been dealt with by the landlord, please call private sector housing on 020 8359 7995.

Residents who own their homes and experience issues with heating should call the Keep Warm and Well scheme on 0208 359 7441 or email winterwell@barnet.gov.uk for advice and assistance.

If You Smell a Gas Leak call National Grid Gas Emergencies line straight away on 0800 111 999 (this is a 24 hour emergency line). Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off, and turn the gas off at the mains if possible. Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances. Do not smoke, light a match or any other naked flame. Do not try and investigate the problem or attempt to fix a leak or a faulty appliance.

Winter Well Grants and other types of assistance

Does one of the following apply to you?

  • disabled
  • had a stroke
  • suffer from coronary heart disease
  • suffer from chronic bronchitis emphysema or asthma
  • had falls in the home

And do any of the following apply?

  • You struggle to afford heating bills resulting in turning the heating off
  • You have no heating or it doesn’t work
  • Your home is drafty
  • You stay in bed to keep warm

You may be eligible for assistance from the council or the government or financial relief schemes.

To apply for a Winter Well grant you must be a homeowner and have a vulnerability to excessively cold housing. Please call 020 8359 7441 or email winterwell@barnet.gov.uk to find out if you qualify. For more grants and assistance available to Barnet residents, please see Grants and Funding.

Some residents may additionally be eligible for assistance through the Energy Company Obligation scheme. Click here to find energy grants and ways to improve your energy efficiency.

For advice on financial hardship and many other topics please contact the Citizens Advice Barnet. Additionally, Charis can offer relief and schemes to support those who are struggling financially.

Big London Energy Switch

Sign up to the BLES (Big London Energy Switch) and save money on your energy bills. The BLES is a price drop competition amongst energy companies. Whoever drops their price the lowest gets their offer sent out to all the households who signed up to the switch. There is no obligation for these households to switch energy company but if the offer is cheaper than their current tariff, it is easy and simple to do and costs nothing.

Priority services registers

If you have a particular vulnerability, you can register on a priority services register. This means that in the event of a gas, water or electricity cut, you will receive additional assistance. Each provider has a slightly different set of requirements to qualify for their register, but these are usually vulnerabilities such as disability, age or chronic illness. To see if your provider will facilitate you additional assistance, follow the relevant links below or contact them directly.

Useful tips to keep warm and well

Here are some simple things you can do to keep warm, stay healthy and make the best use of your heating at home.

Keep your house at a healthy temperature. For a healthy adult your main living room should be between 18-21°C (64-70F), this recommendation is slightly warmer for elderly people at temperatures around 21°C (70F). Other areas of the house should be kept at a minimum of 16°C (61F).  You can also use a hot-water bottle, or layers of blankets to keep warm while you're in bed. Keep all doors shut to prevent draughts and pull your curtains at dusk to keep the heat inside. If your radiator is in front of the window, tuck them behind it.

Have regular hot drinks and soups. Why not go to one of the coffee mornings or lunch clubs in your local area? Or, if you can't get out, use your local befriending service to have someone over for a hot drink and a chat.

Wear several layers of clothes. Several layers are better than one thick layer, as warmth from your body is trapped between layers. Always wear hats, gloves and scarves. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or breathing problems

Keep active. Move around at least once every hour and avoid sitting down for long periods of time. Even light exercise will help keep you warm. Why not attend fitness activities in your local area?


Get your flu jab. If you're 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition, make sure you get a free flu jab every year to protect yourself against flu. You can get the flu vaccine from your GP surgery and some pharmacies accross Barnet.  Children aged two, three and four are now being offered a free flu vaccine in a form of nasal spray. Read more about the flu vaccine.

If you regularly come into contact with someone who is vulnerable, it is sensible to get a flu jab to reduce the risk of being a flu carrier and infecting them. Speak to your GP or a pharmacist.

You should also have a pneumococcal jab, which is given once and protects you against serious pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.

Take care outside

Take extra care in icy conditions. If you do need to go out, wear boots or shoes with a good grip on the soles. Bear in mind that black ice on pavements and roads might not be clearly visible, and that compacted snow may turn to ice and become slippery. The Met Office advises putting grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to minimise the risk of slipping.

If you're travelling by car, you should wait until the roads have been gritted. The Highways Agency offers useful advice on travelling in snow and freezing conditions.

If you have a neighbour who would struggle to clear their path offer to help them. Barnet Council encourages residents to form partnerships to grit their footways in these conditions. if you are not able to join in this partnership, why not join the Barnet Boroughwatch to create a strong, caring, community spirit. Follow our advice for clearing snow and ice on public footways.

Look after others

We need your help to make sure Barnet residents stay warm and well this winter. Check on elderly neighbours, friends and relatives to make sure they're safe and warm enough, especially at night and have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather. If you know of someone who might struggle to keep warm in their home, you can refer someone at risk from cold housing

Share this 'Keep warm and well fact sheet' (PDF) with friends and family who may be vulnerable. Print this out and give it to those who don't have access to the internet.


Additional services

  • Handyperson services - If you're 60 or over and need a help with small household jobs such as installing draught excluders or radiator reflectors,  call Age UK Handyperson Scheme on 020 8150 0963.
  • Check the Met Office weather forecast for any cold weather health warnings.
  • Airtext will alert you when there are high levels of pollution outside or if there is extreme weather in your area and tell you how to minimise the risks associated. Sign up to airTEXT by texting ‘AIRTEXT’ to 78070. The service is free, but you will be charged at your standard text rate.
  • Dial-ride from Transport For London has a free service for elderly and disabled residents living within Barnet. To see if you qualify click here or call 034 3222 7777
  • Are you and your family struggling to afford food, or having to choose between 'heating or eating'? Or are you able to offer assistance or donations? Trussel Trust food banks helps to feed residents in need.

The British Red Cross

Barnet Council is working in partnership with The British Red Cross to deliver Winter Warm Packs and energy efficiency measures to the most vulnerable residents who are coming home from hospital using The British Red Cross’ Home from Hospital Service.

These packs contain hats, gloves, thermos cups, blankets, hot water bottles, socks, thermometers and useful information. These can offer immediate protection against hypothermia and other detriments to health caused by excess cold.


  • Private Sector Housing
  • London Borough of Barnet, Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, London N20 0EJ
  • Tel: 020 8359 7441
  • Email: winterwell@barnet.gov.uk

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