|Wishing all our residents a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year.
Cost of living help this winter
1. Help if you can’t afford food or can’t access food
Information on food banks and low-cost food pantries, crisis help, help for pregnant women and young children, and more is on our website.
2. Warm spaces in Southwark over winter
As the cost of living and heating our homes increases, we’ve opened almost 40 warm spaces across the borough. In these spaces you can keep warm, have a cup of tea or take part in an activity. Some spaces also offer food and cost of living advice too.
3. More cost of living help
Free adult swimming lessons: sign up
If you’re aged over 16 and want to learn to swim, you can join our free 12-week course, starting in January. It’s a great way to prevent illness and boost mental wellbeing during the winter. You’ll learn at your own pace at a local leisure centre.
Use our gyms and pools free of charge
Southwark residents can use swimming pools and gyms at our leisure centres, free of charge, at certain times as part of our Free Swim and Gym programme.
Stay well for the festive season: get you flu and COVID-19 booster
Our local hospitals are already seeing a large increase in flu and COVID-19 admission rates, and these illnesses may spread even faster as many of us enjoy time with friends and family over the festive season. Don’t let COVID-19 and flu ruin your Christmas or New Year – both cause serious illness. Getting vaccinated, if you’re eligible, is the best way to protect yourself and others.
Saved: historic pub with links to Sir Paul McCartney
The Old Justice is a Grade II Listed pub in Bermondsey. It had a starring role in Sir Paul McCartney’s film ‘Give My Regards to Broad Street’ and his music video for the hit song ‘No More Lonely Nights’. Following action from the council, the interior has been restored after it was removed without consent.
Paid internships with us: apply now
Our internship programme is for young residents aged 16 to 24. We’re offering 12-week paid internships and the programme is great first stepping stone into the world of work. We currently have internship vacancies in nine departments.
Free: re-train in green skills
Learn new technical skills in solar, hydrogen and fuel cells and green design, and get support to help you find a job in the green industry. Join London South Bank University free five-week Green Skills Bootcamp, starting on 16 January 2023.
Have your say: improvements to local travel and transport
We want transport to work for everyone in Southwark. We want to encourage the use of zero-pollution vehicles and give people better options so they can leave the car at home. As part of this you can give your views on our sustainable transport strategy.
Donate to help local foodbanks
This Christmas, food banks will be supporting more people than ever before and they need your support. PECAN, who run one of Southwark’s foodbanks, is running a Christmas campaign, but you can support any local foodbank.
Apply for a primary school place
Is your child starting primary school next year? If your child was born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019, your child is due to start primary school in September 2023.
Southwark school wins top design award
Our new school building picked up two prizes at this year’s New London Architecture (NLA) Awards. It is home to our Inclusive Learning Service for some young people who need extra support outside mainstream settings.
Your health updates
Strep A and scarlet fever
There has been an increase in cases of scarlet fever being reported to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). This is above what we would expect for winter. Scarlet fever is caused by the bacteria Group A streptococcus (Strep A), which on very rare occasions can cause more serious disease if it gets into the bloodstream or lungs.
Flu can be serious for young children: protect them with a vaccine
Because of COVID-19 restrictions many young children won’t have come into contact with flu, so haven’t built up natural immunity. Children aged two and over can get a free NHS nasal spray vaccination through their GP or through the school immunisation service if they’ve started primary school.
Book your child’s polio booster before Christmas
Polio virus has been found in London sewage. Children aged one to nine in London need to have a polio vaccine booster to get stronger protection. There is no cure for polio. Vaccination is the only protection. Hear from Paralympian and journalist Ade Adepitan about how he got polio as a child which caused him to become paralysed, and the importance of the vaccine.
>> Get your one to four-year-old vaccinated by contacting your GP
Top tips to reduce your risk of a fall
Get advice on how to build strength and confidence to reduce the risk of a fall. There’s plenty of local support and advice available on how to stay well and keep active.
Been invited for an NHS lung health check? Book now
If you’re aged 55 to 74 and registered as current or former smoker with your GP you may be invited for a lung health check. Even if you feel fine, you should go. The check can uncover problems early on, when they are more treatable.
Join a study about the efficiency of household appliances
The University of Exeter and the Association of Manufacturers of Electrical Appliances are looking for households to take part in a study. If accepted, you will learn how your household appliances affect your energy consumption and get a voucher to replace one of your least efficient appliances.
Library opening times over Christmas and New Year
Our library opening times will be:
- Saturday 24 December: all libraries will close at 1pm
- Sunday 25 to Tuesday 27 December: all libraries will be close
- Wednesday 28 to Saturday 31 December: normal opening hours
- Sunday 1 January to Monday 2 January: all libraries will be closed
- Tuesday 3 January onwards: normal opening hours
Your waste and recycling collections over Christmas and new year
During the week beginning 26 December all waste collections will be one day later. Monday collections will happen on Tuesday, and so on until we catch up with Friday collections on Saturday 31 December.
Free: get your real tree collected after Christmas
Whatever waste you end up with, remember that a lot of it can now be recycled. That includes your real Christmas tree, which we will collect and recycle for free.