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As the heatwave continues, what can you do to help your neighbours?

Written by Alice Skeats

With Monday being the hottest day of 2018 and the heatwave set to continue, we are urging neighbours to reach out and lend a hand to those in your community who may be struggling in the heat. 

The UK has not seen a heatwave like this since the summer of 1976 and with temperatures reaching their peak at the end of the week, it is important that we are aware of the different ways in which we can help each other to cope. We all struggle in this weather, however it can be particularly difficult for older people or those who are already unwell, making everyday tasks almost unbearable. That is why simply checking in on our neighbours could make a big difference to their wellbeing and could help save lives.  With this in mind, we have put together some tips below, on what you can do to help your neighbours during the heatwave.

  • Check up on them

Whilst we often welcome the warm weather, when it’s too hot for too long it can have serious health risks particularly for older people. Simply checking in on neighbours to see how they’re feeling could help save lives.

If you know of an older or unwell neighbour drop them a message on Nextdoor to see how they are doing and arrange to pop by. Making sure they are hydrated, offering to make them a cool drink and perhaps taking round some ice are just a few neighbourly ways to keep them comfortable in the heat. Shutting their windows and pulling down their shades can also help neighbours keep cooler, especially if any of their rooms are facing the sun.

If you are worried about the health of a neighbour urge them to speak to their GP or call 111 and in an emergency call 999.

  • Help them with their daily tasks

During this weather every day tasks can be a struggle for older or ill neighbours, increasing their risk of heat exhaustion. Reaching out to neighbours on Nextdoor and offering help with daily household tasks, such as a spot of cleaning or washing, or even taking their dog for a short walk can help prevent this.

  • Offer to help with shopping

Why not ask your elderly or ill neighbour if they have a shopping list or any bits you could pick up for them when you’re doing your weekly shop. Saving your neighbours the hassle of making the journey to the shops and carrying heavy bags in this hot weather is a great way to keep them from risk.  

  • Give them a lift

We all know how hot public transport can get in this weather, sometimes almost to the point where is it unbearable. By offering your neighbours a lift to any appointments or places they need to be, you’re not only helping them have a change of scenery, but you are also helping them to avoid the struggle of public transport in the heat.  

  • Invite them round for a cold drink

If your neighbour is well enough to get out and about, why not use the weather as a chance to get to know them better. These days, we don’t often take the time to sit down and relax with a chilled drink (or maybe even an ice cream!) This is just one great way to help both you and your neighbours stay cool, whilst also having a good old chat.

These are just a few ways in which we think you can help your neighbours during the heatwave.

If you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor to help your neighbours let us know.

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