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Health & Wellbeing

FREE water refills now available at Three Bridges Station as retailers join campaign

33 retailers at Govia Thameslink Railway stations have committed to a campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottle by offering free tap water refills for passengers.

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It’s National Refill Day today (Wednesday 19 June) which is a public awareness day to mark the campaign, designed to reduce single-use plastic bottles by encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go.

Part of the campaign is highlighting where members of the public can find free drinking water through the Refill app, with GTR’s Environment team signing up 33 retailers across the rail operator’s stations to support the project.

GTR’s Environment team has been working with staff members that serve as Area Champions for the Environment (ACEs) to encourage tenants at stations to join the campaign.

On the Southern network, Runaway Café in Lewes and the N+1 Bike Centre and Café at Brighton have signed up to the scheme.

On the Thameslink route, AMT Coffee at St Albans has joined; Caffe Kimbo and La Baguette Parisienne, both at Luton station, have also signed up.

Samantha Lear, Environment Manager for Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“GTR is supporting Refill to help reduce plastic waste, an important issue which needs action on a personal as well as national level. We are so pleased to see so many of our retailers sign up as refill points with our teams of ACEs and hope that many more will follow soon.”

With the campaign research showing that 71% of people feel uncomfortable asking for free tap water when not making a purchase, Refill log all participating retailers on their app so that consumers can find the closest shop, cafe or restaurant taking part in the scheme.

According to Refill, if 1 in 10 people in Britain refilled a bottle rather than buying a single use plastic bottle just once a week, around 340 million plastic bottles would be saved each year.

Natalie Fee, Founder at City to Sea, said:

“We’re really pleased that GTR are part of the Refill Revolution this National Refill Day! Their support makes it even easier for everyone to find free drinking water when travelling – meaning we can all save money and save the planet from plastic pollution in one go! People from all walks of life are carrying a reusable bottle now and with GTR making it easier for people to Refill, we’re rapidly doing away with the need to buy planet-polluting plastic bottled water!”

The campaign is a partnership between Refill and Water UK run by City to Sea with additional support from the English water companies, Chilly’s Bottles, Robeco and the Mayor of London.

Refill estimates that the project will save more than 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream by the end of 2019.

Retailers at the following Govia Thameslink Railway stations have signed up to the scheme:

Epsom

Luton

Luton Airport Parkway

Bedford

St Albans

Brighton

Lewes

Blackfriars

Three Bridges

East Croydon

Letchworth Garden City

Seaford

Berwick

Peterborough

St Neots

Littlehampton

West Hampstead Thameslink

Elephant & Castle

City Thameslink

New Cross Gate

Flitwick

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com

Health & Wellbeing

Local ambulance service urges people to take care as demand rises due to temperatures

With hotter temperatures set to make an appearance this week, South East Coast Ambulance Service, (SECAmb), is urging people to be sensible and take appropriate action to stay safe in the sun.

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Warmer weather is of course welcomed by many, but it often brings with it a likely increase in certain calls for the ambulance service.

Calls relating to dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn typically increase, and higher temperatures can also seriously affect people with long-term health conditions such heart conditions or high blood pressure. Older people and the very young are also at higher risk of being affected. SECAmb is urging these groups and anyone who looks after them to be equally cautious during hot weather.

SECAmb’s Executive Director of Operations, Joe Garcia said:

“I’m sure many people are pleased to see the arrival of some warmer weather and we of course want people to enjoy the sun. However, we also need people to be sensible and use their common sense. This means covering up and using sun screen as well as drinking plenty of water.

“Everyone can benefit from this simple advice but there are some groups whose health can be particularly affected by the hotter weather including the very young, older people and anyone with certain long-term health conditions. If people know of anyone who could be especially vulnerable, then we’d ask them to check they’re ok.

“We’d also urge people to remember that we have a finite amount of resources to respond to patients. We are asking the public for their support in remembering that 999 should only be dialed in the event of a serious emergency. Health advice is also available by dialing NHS 111 or by speaking to a pharmacist.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all our staff and volunteers who are working extremely hard to provide our patients with the care they need, whatever the weather.”

SECAmb tips for staying safe and cool in the sun

·         Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. Find shade under umbrellas, trees or canopies. It is worth remembering that the temperature is often a couple of degrees cooler if you are by water

·         Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can’t avoid being out in the sun apply a high factor sunscreen and wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses

·         Increase your fluid intake. The normal recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per day. In extreme heat experts recommend you drink more and include a range of different fluids

·         Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation

·         Look after the elderly. Older people are more prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives or neighbours, you can help simply by checking on them and reminding them to drink plenty and often. Also help them to keep their house as cool as possible, using a fan if necessary

·         Protect children. Keep a close eye on young children, who need plenty of fluids. A good way to check if they are drinking enough is that they are passing urine regularly and that it is not too dark. You should check nappies regularly. Babies and the very young must be kept out of the sun

·         Act safely around water and follow lifeguard advice. Avoid excessive physical exertion. If you are taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of fluid at least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish your fluids during and after exercising

·         Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice

·         Know the perils of outdoor eating. Warm summer weather is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so it is especially important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until you are ready to eat them. When barbecuing always make sure you cook meat until it is piping hot, none of it is pink and all juices run clear

·         Keep cool at work. The office is often the coolest place to be in a heat wave. Ask your boss for air-conditioning or fans and open windows where possible. Keep windows shaded with blinds and if possible move your working position out of direct sunlight. Have plenty of breaks during the day to get cold drinks and cool down

Remember, heat stroke can kill. It can develop very suddenly and rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke call 999 immediately.

While waiting for the ambulance you should listen carefully to the call handler and follow the instructions given to you. The following can also help someone suffering from heat stroke:

·         If possible, move the person somewhere cooler

·         Increase ventilation by opening windows or using a fan

·         Cool the patient down as quickly as possible by loosening their clothes, sprinkling them with cold water or wrapping them in a damp sheet

·         If they are conscious, give them water or fruit juice to drink

·         Do not give them aspirin or paracetamol

If you need medical advice or treatment you can also talk to a pharmacist, call NHS 111, visit your GP surgery or Minor Injury Unit.

When to call 999:

If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:

·         heart attack (e.g. chest pain for more than 15 minutes)

·         sudden unexplained shortness of breath

·         heavy bleeding

·         unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)

·         traumatic back/spinal/neck pain

You should also call for an ambulance if: 

·         you think the patient’s illness or injury is life-threatening

·         you think the illness or injury may become worse, or even life-threatening on the way to the hospital

·         the patient needs the skills or equipment of the ambulance service and its personnel

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