The cold winter weather can increase the risk of people experiencing hypothermia. Paramedics, rescue teams, and other emergency services are more likely to see patients with cold weather injuries and hypothermia during this time.
Hypothermia is generally more likely to happen to people in the winter. However, the risk of hypothermia in the homeless population specifically increases significantly in the cold and wet weather. In addition to sleeping outdoors, the homeless population may experience issues such as, poorer overall health, undiagnosed health conditions, lack of access to medication and care, or drug or alcohol addictions.
These factors combined with cold or freezing weather contribute to increasing their hypothermia risk. This is why prevention is vital, when a person’s core temperature drops below 35C, it becomes a medical emergency. Once they are hypothermic, they increase their risk of further health complications. Treating hypothermia is much more difficult than preventing it.
For these reasons, we have donated some of our Emergency hypothermia blankets to Happy Days, a local Halifax charity dedicated to supporting the homeless. As well as joining the Happy Days Foundation Club, making a monthly donation to the cause.
Who are Happy Days?
Happy Days is a Halifax based charity that “supports and empowers people who are homeless or in crisis to live independent and purposeful lives by helping them to access the advice and services they need to bring about sustainable change.”
The organisation puts people first, working tirelessly to provide much needed services to those who need it. These services aim to tackle homelessness and food poverty.
These services include the Winter Shelter, the Community Supermarket, the Community Café, and Walk in support. Medical services are also available at the site, a weekly wound clinic and sexual health clinic ensures that users are able to access the appropriate medical care.
On top of these, the charity also operates supported accommodation and other services which are designed to help residents move on and live independently. Happy Days treats their service users as individuals, providing the tailored support they need. Their services may include “support to overcome addiction, skills to sustain employment, and tenancy and specialist input for mental health and trauma.”
During our donation, we were fortunate enough to meet some of the team. Who told us more about their services, volunteers and upcoming fundraising events.
What challenges do homeless people face?
We all know that cold and wet weather is a significant challenge for those sleeping outdoors. As well as access to food and clothing. The team at Happy Days told us there are many more challenges to overcome that we might not consider. Service users may not have had a full education, they may not know how to read or write to varying levels. Or perhaps they do not have a support system in family or friends. The team also explained that addiction issues can be a reason people need to use the service, and struggle to make lifestyle changes on their own.
Each persons story is unique, and so is their set of circumstances. Happy Days provide physical and emotional support. As well as providing such important services, they also ensure users are set up well to move on. Giving them a sense of responsibility, helping them learn skills, and being there to listen.
How you can help
There are many ways to support the charity. Businesses can become a member of the Happy Days Foundation Club, donating monthly to allow these vital services to continue. Other ways businesses can help is to sponsor their events, run their own events, host a food collection bin, volunteer, or sponsor a room in the winter shelter.
For individuals, you can become a Key Giver. Donating £18 monthly to provide someone with a safe space to sleep. Or you may be willing to become a volunteer, completing a variety of useful tasks. Such as helping pack food parcels, decorating a home, or working in the community gardens.
We want to say a massive thank you to the Happy Days team for meeting with us, and allowing us to learn all about their mission. Take a look at their website for more information, or visit their social channels to see what they are up to.
We hope these blankets can contribute to reduce the risk of hypothermia in the homeless population of our local area. And we will continue to support Happy Days by participating in fundraising events and spreading awareness.
Categories: Company News