Stay Safe, Stay Warm

In 2019 we launched our Stay Safe, Stay Warm campaign to help everyone in Glasgow know the signs of hypothermia and how to help.

 

Our team

Our skilled team are trained to respond to hypothermia.  In addition to overdose treatment the street team also carries life saving winter issue equipment. 

 

As our colleagues in Scottish Mountain Rescue tell us,the most effective solution to hypothermia is ‘we get them off the mountain’. Our most effective solution to hypothermia is to get people off the streets.

 

Throughout last year Glasgow had less than 10 people sleeping rough on the streets, often as low as 4 at any one time with the street team and partners actively working to prevent 30 people a week from having to sleep outdoors. That is still 4 too many and we are working hard to find the right solution to each and every one of them. However there is no European City that has achieved such low numbers.

People on the streets

We don’t want to see people living on the streets. It’s unsafe, unhealthy and highly risky. However for a broad range of reasons some people do rough sleep.

 

Please find some advice below that might help if you are either faced with sleeping rough, or if you have the opportunity to help someone.

 

ALWAYS START by phoning our Street Teams

 

Our staff are out every day in Glasgow and Edinburgh including in severe weather we’ll have extra staff on in the evenings to support people into shelter. Our staff are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of Hypothermia, carry special equipment and know how to respond if someone is at risk. If you are concerned about someone then call us on: Edinburgh 0808 178 2323 or Glasgow 0800 027 7466 

FURTHER ADVICE

FIND A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP

  • If sleeping rough, it’s better (when possible) to sleep where other people are sleeping.
  • Look for brighter lit & sheltered areas. Also look for CCTV cameras.
  • Cardboard is a good insulator and can help keep people off the ground.
  • If possible, a bed roll is easily transportable.

UNSAFE PLACES

People do seek cover in unsafe places;

  • Large lidded bins, which can result in crush injuries or death if the bin is emptied.
  • Empty or derelict buildings, with associated risks around fire safety and building collapse.
  • Under bridges, on river banks or near the sea, streams or canals or drains or gullies, which are dangerous in the event of heavy or prolonged rainfall.
  • Isolated remote areas where they may be assaulted.

PLEASE call our Street Team if you see anyone at risk of rough sleeping near these areas.

HOW TO DRESS FOR THE WEATHER

  • Layers are better than heavy clothes
  • Head and face, alegs, hands and feet are the most difficult parts of the body to keep warm.
  • Long johns (or modernly referred to as under armour), a balaclava and warm socks really do help.
  • An extra tip for warmth is to try stuffing plastic bags between trousers and long johns for an extra layer.

FOOD AND DRINK

Warm food and drink help to warm the body and provide fuel to maintain warmth. Often rough sleepers are inactive staying in the one place for long periods so high calorific foods, warm drinks and warm clothing all help.

How to spot the signs of hypothermia

Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35C (95F). Normal body temperature is around 37C (98.6F).

People using drugs and alcohol are more vulnerable to hypothermia as their bodies lose heat faster. Inactivity, wet clothing and inappropriate clothing and poor health are all high risk factors. Hypothermia can be serious if not treated quickly. It can kill you.

If you notice signs of hypothermia, call 999 and give first aid.

The advice below is an extract from the NHS UK website

SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHERMIA

Early signs of hypothermia include:

  • shivering
  • cold and pale skin
  • slurred speech
  • fast breathing
  • tiredness
  • confusion

These are symptoms of mild hypothermia, where someone’s body temperature is between 32C and 35C.

If a person’s temperature drops to 32C or lower, they will usually stop shivering completely and may pass out. This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.

Stay Safe, Stay Warm

FIND A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP

  • It’s important for people to find a safe place to sleep at night. If sleeping rough, it’s better they sleep where other people are sleeping.
  • Brighter lit & sheltered areas, good CCTV coverage
  • Cardboard is a good insulator and newspaper to keep off the ground.
  • A bed roll is cheap and easily transportable.

UNSAFE PLACES

People do seek cover in unsafe places

  • Large lidded bins, which can result in crush injuries or death if the bin is emptied.
  • Empty or derelict buildings, with associated risks around fire safety and building collapse.
  • Under bridges, on river banks or near the sea, streams or canals or drains or gullies, which are dangerous in the event of heavy or prolonged rainfall.
  • Isolated remote areas where they may be assaulted.

HOW TO DRESS FOR THE WEATHER

  • Layers are better than heavy clothes
  • Head and face, alegs, hands and feet are the most difficult parts of the body to keep warm.
  • Long johns (or modernly referred to as under armour), a balaclava and warm socks really do help.
  • An extra tip for warmth is to try stuffing plastic bags between trousers and long johns for an extra layer.

FOOD AND DRINK

Warm food and drink help to warm the body and provide fuel to maintain warmth. Often rough sleepers are inactive staying in the one place for long periods so high calorific foods, warm drinks and warm clothing all help.

How to spot the signs of hypothermia

Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35C (95F). Normal body temperature is around 37C (98.6F).

People using drugs and alcohol are more vulnerable to hypothermia as their bodies lose heat faster. Inactivity, wet clothing and inappropriate clothing and poor health are all high risk factors. Hypothermia can be serious if not treated quickly. It can kill you.

If you notice signs of hypothermia, call 999 and give first aid.

The advice below is an extract from the NHS UK website

SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHERMIA

Early signs of hypothermia include:

  • shivering
  • cold and pale skin
  • slurred speech
  • fast breathing
  • tiredness
  • confusion

These are symptoms of mild hypothermia, where someone’s body temperature is between 32C and 35C.

If a person’s temperature drops to 32C or lower, they will usually stop shivering completely and may pass out. This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.