Look out for your neighbours this winter

The following is a message from the City of Edinburgh Council's Health and Wellbeing Convener Cllr Ricky Henderson.

As winter is now upon us there is no better time for Edinburgh residents to show their community spirit by checking on vulnerable neighbours.

Just a small gesture like offering a helping hand or even being a friendly face to neighbours who may be in need can go a long way. A small act of kindness can make a real difference to someone's life.

So why not check on your elderly neighbour to see if they would appreciate the offer of going to the shops to get them some milk or bread. If you are going anyway it would only take a minute.

Perhaps just popping in for five minutes for a friendly chat can help. Your neighbour may welcome some company but didn't want to bother anyone.

The Council and our partners have dedicated staff who provide care and support for thousands of older and vulnerable people in the city. However there will be some who are not known to our social work services because they have not been in contact before.

Some of these vulnerable people may have been looked after by relatives in the past, who have now moved home or passed away.

So a helping hand with the shopping, or just a knock on the door to say hello, may prove to be the most important and valuable gift for you to give someone this winter.

Anyone who is concerned about someone who they feel should be getting help can contact the social care direct team at the Council on 0131 200 2324, and staff there will arrange appropriate follow up.

In the evenings and weekend contact can be made with the out of hours service at 0800 731 6969.

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