Free swimming lessons, cost of living help, winter health reminders and more

Events, news and information from Southwark Council

SCC2022

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.

>> Help if you can’t afford food

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.

>> Drop into your local warm space

3. More cost of living help

>> See all our cost of living support and advice

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.

>> Sign up now for your free swimming lessons

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.

>> Register for free swim and gym

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.

>> Find out who can get free flu and COVID-19 boosters

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.

>> See pictures on Twitter: The Old Justice pub has been restored

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.

>> Apply for an internship by 30 December

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.

>> Register your interest in the Green Skills Bootcamp

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.

>> Tell us how we can improve travel around the borough

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.

>> Donate to local charity PECAN’s Christmas campaign

>> Find another local foodbank to support 

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.

>> Apply for your child’s primary school place by 15 January 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.

>> About the award-winning building for pupils who need extra support outside of mainstream education 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.

>>  Find out about Strep A, the symptoms of scarlet fever and what to do if your child has scarlet fever

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.

>> Find out more about children’s flu vaccines from the NHS

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

>> Book a polio vaccination for your five to nine-year-old at a local vaccination centre

>> After Christmas, if your child hasn’t had all their routine polio vaccines you can still contact your GP at any point to get them protected

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.

>> Get advice on preventing falls

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.

>> How to book your lung health check

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.

>> Apply to take part: study about household 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.

>> Check your waste and recycling collection day

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.

>> How to recycle Christmas waste and request a free tree collection

www.southwark.gov.uk

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