PEOPLE are urged to take precautions to ensure they remain warm and well during cold weather.

Last year, there were 258 avoidable deaths in Worcestershire alone due to cold conditions, and the county council is trying to ensure that number is not repeated this time around.

It is urging people to take simple steps to keep themselves well, including heating and insulating their homes properly, eating well, dressing appropriately and investigating what financial support and advice is available to them.

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, is also urging people to sign the NHS Winter Friends pledge to keep a close eye on elderly family members, friends and neighbours.

“Encouraging people to look after themselves, families, and neighbours is especially important as the cold weather sets in and older people can be at particular risk, especially those who live alone,” he said.