Beat the Heat

With the current temperature and the possibility of a long hot summer ahead, it is important to think about how to support vulnerable people in our community to stay healthy

Now is a time to not only enjoy the weather but also take an opportunity to check on your neighbours or those most at risk in our community.

Home Instead St Albans, Open Door St Albans and the St Albans Community Pantry have collated some helpful hints to support St Albans over the summer.

As we grow older, or live with health conditions, such as dementia, we may not be able deal with the challenges our bodies face in the heat as effectively. For members of the community who are homeless, health can be negatively impacted due to the lack of shelter, access to drinking water and showers. The St Albans Community Pantry provide local support in relation to food and drink and are concerned about ensuring hydration and staying safe in the sun for all.

We hope that the information below is helpful to everyone and makes some further suggestions as to how you can help.

If you have any concerns about someone’s health – call 111 or if it is an emergency 999.

Hydration is key.

  • Drink plenty of water, diluted juice or fruit juice, Eat foods with a high water content (cucumber, melon are good examples)
  • If you struggle to keep up your fluid intake, you could consider setting an alarm or asking someone to remind you to drink water during the day
  • Make sure you have a drink when you wake up and before/with meals.
  • Consider ice lollies to increase fluids, especially for the young and old if they do not want to drink.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks and alcohol as these will dehydrate you more.
  • For those who do not have access easily to clean drinking water, contact Open Door who can assist, reuse water bottles to refill from safe sources (there are water fountains in the town centre and pubs/cafes should be able to help to refill)

If you are able to:

  • Close curtains in rooms that face the sun
  • Close windows if it is cooler inside than out
  • If you use a fan, place it somewhere safe and do not have it just pointed at you directly as this can lead to dehydration
  • Turn off anything electrical that you are not using
  • Wear light clothing, take off socks or any unnecessary layers.

If you do want to go for a walk or need to spend time outside make sure you:

  • Have water available with you
  • Wear sun protection, including hats and sunglasses and sun-cream (SPF30 minimum)
  • Stay in the shade or try to take breaks in a shady spot to sit in.
  • You could consider visiting local places of worship or libraries where it may be cooler if they are nearby and you can get to them safely.
  • Try to avoid the peak time of 10: 30am – 3:30pm , it is better to go outside in early morning or later in the evening when the temperature has cooled.

Never leave anyone, or animals in closed parked vehicles as this can be very dangerous as the temperature rises.

Home Instead St Albans have provided this information to all their clients, their families and team of experienced Care Professionals. They have also produced a listing of social activity groups, many of which are held in cool spaces which may also be on interest – this can be downloaded via their website

You could also check out the Anna Chaplain Guide to Social Activities in St Albans for the elderly here : Connecting communities and churches with great communication! (

If you are able to help Open Door or the Community Pantry with their outreach work – please consider making donations to them directly.

Open Door – Open Door Night Shelter – St Albans (
The Outreach team at Open Door and the street homeless team from St Albans City and District Council will be out carrying out welfare checks ensuring rough sleepers have access to water, hats, sun-cream and advising individuals to stay out of the sun.

If you would like to donate bottles of water, sun hats or sun cream, donations can be made at 8 Bricket Road, St Albans.

St Albans Community Pantry, St Albans Community Pantry

St Albans Community Pantry are inviting all to their cool spaces, take a break from the heat of your oven and cookers at home and enjoy a cooked meal free of charge at the following locations and timings:

Monday 12pm to 2pm at Cottonmill Community Centre (air conditioned)

Tuesday 6pm to 7.30pm at St Luke’s Church

Wednesday 8.45am to 11am at Fleetville Community Centre

Pop by the community fridge sessions to pick up rescued fruit to blitz, freeze and savour as lollies. You can also collect chilled rescued foods such as salads and sandwiches, free of charge, to eat in place of hot meals.

SACP are adding extra bottles of squash to all of their emergency food aid boxes and delivering to the doorsteps of the most vulnerable in the community, if you’re able to make a donation please drop off to Unit 9, The Enterprise Centre Long Spring St Albans AL3 6EN

A further useful source of information is Beat the heat: hot weather advice – GOV.UK (

We all hope you enjoy the summer sunshine safely.