How to beat the heat

How to beat the heat

We have teamed up with Home Instead St Albans and the St Albans Community Pantry and collated some helpful hints to support St Albans over the summer.

People experiencing homelessness are at a heightened risk of developing heat-related illnesses due to their inability to keep cool (owing to a lack of shelter) and reduced access to showers and drinking water. However, the heat not only affects the homeless, but the elderly, young children and individuals with health conditions.

Home Instead St Albans explain that 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.

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 suncream (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.


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

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


Stay safe and stay hydrated.


If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can contact Streetlink. A member of the Outreach team will be alerted and carry out a welfare check. If anyone is in immediate danger, please contact 999.