COVID-19 and winter health

These webpages contain content from Camden’s winter 2021 booklet, which will be distributed to all residents and businesses in early December. In light of the recent changes to Government guidelines, the content here has been updated. View the digital edition of the booklet.


Get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible

Getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and a booster remains the number one way to protect yourself and those around you from coronavirus. The vaccine programme has saved thousands of lives so far and stopped many people from developing serious long-term symptoms. Don’t take the risk. It is not too late to get your first dose. If you have been double vaccinated, boosters are being made available to all ages. Please do get your booster as soon as it is made available to you, as this ensures your immunity is at its highest over winter. Check your eligibility before booking at  the NHS website or call 119. Find a local walk-in clinic or vaccine bus stop If you or your child (aged 12 or over) is clinically vulnerable, please speak to your GP about getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Camden's community vaccine bus

Our COVID-19 vaccine bus has been on the road since April, supporting our residents by bringing vaccines to their neighbourhood, and in some cases right to their door.

By late November 2021, over 5,190 residents have been vaccinated on the bus and the bus has made over 140 stops at 30 locations.

“COVID-19 has disrupted all of our lives, so let’s prevent it from spreading by getting the vaccine.” Zein Hussain, Physician Associate, Central Camden Primary Care Network

Flu can lead to serious illness. Get your free flu vaccine now, if eligible

Flu can make you seriously unwell, and having flu and COVID-19 together means you are much more likely to be hospitalised. Protect yourself and your loved ones and get the flu vaccine this winter. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine around the same time won’t do you any harm.

You’re eligible for a free flu vaccine if you are over 50, work in health or social care, are pregnant or have underlying health conditions. Book an appointment on the NHS website. Find out about flu vaccines for children on the next page. 

Accessing health services over the winter months

Using the right service for your health needs can help you get the care you need, faster. If you’re not sure where to go but think you need medical help right now, visit the NHS website or call 111 for free from mobiles and landlines.

Only call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. You can also speak to your community pharmacist for advice on minor illnesses. GP practices continue to offer face-to-face, video and telephone appointments. All appointments are assessed to make sure people with the greatest need are seen first, and to keep you safe.

While rates of coronavirus are high across London, please know that all healthcare settings are being run in a COVID-safe way. This means extra measures are in place to keep you safe, so please make sure you attend planned appointments.

Please socially distance and wear a face covering in all healthcare settings and while staff are busy helping others, please continue to be kind and patient.

Keep your children and those around them safe over the winter months

  • It is important as ever that your child is up to date with their immunisations. If you have any questions, speak to your health visitor or GP, or check their red book.
  • If your child is clinically vulnerable and aged 2+, please get them vaccinated against flu at your GP surgery. For more information, call the local NHS on 020 3317 5076.
  • Please regularly check your secondary school- aged children are COVID-free by helping them take regular rapid COVID-19 tests. This will help prevent them passing the virus on to others, including older or more at-risk family members. Find out more about testing in Camden
  • The pandemic has been difficult for children and young people. If you are worried about your child’s mental health, find out more about mental health services in Camden, including Kooth, which offers free online counselling.

Public health advice

People are still catching and dying from COVID-19 every day. Given the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, it's more important than ever to do everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones:

Get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and get your booster as soon as you are eligible

Find out more on our webpages or visit the NHS website 

Take regular rapid tests to check if you have COVID

Whether you’re going to work, doing some shopping, or catching up with friends and relatives, it’s still possible to catch and spread COVID-19 without symptoms, even after your vaccine. Take regular rapid tests to prevent you from passing the virus on to others this winter – particularly before spending time in crowded or enclosed spaces

Where to get your rapid tests

Pick up free rapid home test kits from many local pharmacies, order kits online for delivery or visit a test site to take a test in person. Find your closest test site.

Wear a face covering, unless you’re exempt

You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth while on public transport, and in shops. We strongly recommend you wear them in other indoor and busy outdoor public spaces too.

Regularly open windows when socialising indoors

We know it’s cold but keeping windows and doors open, or opening them regularly – 10 minutes every hour – while socialising indoors increases airflow, helping to dilute infectious particles and reducing your risk of catching the virus

Wash hands regularly and use hand sanitiser when you go out

Shop local this Christmas

Our small businesses, markets and high streets are part of what makes Camden the unique and exciting place it is to be over the holidays. To support the businesses and venues we know and love through winter, we encourage you to shop local. Follow these tips to start shopping local now. Please remember that unless you’re exempt, you must wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.

Do your research

Look through a local business guide, find and follow local sellers on social media, or take a walk or cycle to your local market or high street to see what’s available.

Support local businesses

Whether you’re shopping for Christmas presents or doing a food shop, there’s plenty of great options at small businesses or independent shops in your local area. For local present ideas, visit My Virtual Neighbourhood or find out more about local businesses near you

Help to make your business more sustainable

If you're a local business owner, sign up to our Climate Pledge to help us meet net zero carbon emissions in 2030. 76% of members signed up to it are reducing their carbon footprint this year. Find out more about how to make your business more sustainable.

Discounts count

Take advantage of special holiday discounts and offers from local retailers by signing up to loyalty programmes, such as Fitzrovia's Loyal Free app or the Garden Card at Hatton Garden

Choose sustainable travel options

Whether you’re visiting your local high street or market, or heading to the other side of the borough, please try to walk, cycle or take public transport to help improve Camden’s air quality.

To make it safer and easier to do this, we’ve tripled the length of the segregated cycle network in Camden, added 150 cycle hangars and upgraded bus lanes to run 24/7, helping to improve bus journey times. We've also introduced 15 new Healthy School Streets.

Supporting our high streets

  • So far we have distributed over £100m in government grants to support local businesses and venues to reopen, including markets.
  • We launched our Camden Future High Streets programme, including a Spacehive Crowdfund, providing an additional £360,000 to support
  • grassroots organisations that are helping to make Camden’s high streets and town centres more accessible, sustainable and the heart of our communities.
  • We have also supported new public spaces for outside eating and drinking with 18 streateries open across Camden.

If you’ve got a project for your local high street that you want to crowdfund, find out more and apply for the spring round.

Tips for a more sustainable festive season

Christmas and New Year collections

There will be no changes to recycling and rubbish collections over the Christmas and New Year period. If you’re self-isolating, please remember to double bag personal waste (for instance, tissues and face coverings) and keep aside for at least 72 hours before putting out.


Take your real Christmas tree to a collection point to be recycled in the first two weeks of January – find your nearest one or call 020 3567 8105.

We often create more waste than usual at this time of year, but fortunately much of it can be reused and recycled. Here are some helpful hints and information for this winter.
Your guide to recycling

Put in your mixed recycling bin or bag:

  • cardboard – broken down
  • paper – including cards and crackers
  • clean foils – including mince pie cases
  • rinsed food tins and drinks cans
  • Sweet and biscuit tins
  • Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • Empty food and drink cartons (Tetrapaks)
  • Glass bottles and jars

Put in your rubbish bin or bag:

  • metallic or glitter wrapping paper and cards
  • bubble wrap, sellotape, clingfilm and cellophane
  • Tinsel, ribbon and bows
  • Tree decorations
  •  Sweet wrappers and crisp packets
  •  Used tissues and napkins
  • Cracker gifts

For further information

You can report dumped rubbish, dog mess, graffiti or other street cleaning issues with the Love Clean Streets app to help keep Camden clean. Download from your app store or the Clean Streets website.

Reduce festive food waste

  • Make a list: Save money and time by only buying what you need.
  • Keep it cool: Food lasts up to 3 days longer if your fridge is below 5 degrees. You can freeze more than you think, including milk and eggs.
  • Love leftovers: From turkey tagine to mixed vegetable curry, check out recipes for leftovers
  • Share with your community: Use the OLIO app to share food you don’t need, or donate to a food bank (see back page).
  • Recycle unavoidable food waste: Many homes can use our food waste recycling service. Find out more.

Sustainability in Camden

Play your part to reduce carbon emissions

There are some simple things we can all do to help us achieve our goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions in Camden by 2030:

  • Instead of driving, use public transport, walk or cycle. If you don’t have your own bike, you could hire a bike from one of 150 new dockless bike hire locations we’ve installed around Camden. Find your nearest location 
  • Ensure your home is better insulated, make it more energy efficient and apply for a grant through our Climate Fund to cover some of these costs
  • If you need a helping hand to make your home warmer and reduce energy bills, register for a free ‘well and warm’ home visit.

Actions we’ve taken to help Camden be more sustainable

  • Held the UK’s first local authority-led Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis
  • Switched our Council and school buildings to 100% renewable electricity supplies in October 2020
  • Next year we are issuing a Green Bond, to help raise £1m to invest in green projects. 

Free events in Camden over the winter months


North Camden Zone is hosting free painting workshops at Belsize Community Library for children and adults every Tuesday, 6.30 to 8pm, until 9 February 2022. Find out more and sign up

Festive fun

Ingestre Community Centre (Ingestre Road, NW5 1UX) is hosting a free Christmas event on 18 December, 1 to 4pm with mince pies, music and the chance to buy new and pre-loved clothes for under £5.

Activities with a free meal for children

If you or your child receives free school meals, sign up for fun free activities taking place across Camden over the Christmas holidays, which include a free healthy meal. Find out more and book

Activities for children and adults over 60

Castlehaven Community Association (23 Castlehaven Road, NW1 8RU) is hosting a series of events including regular day trips with the Ageactivity 60+ Walking Club and after school activities for 8 to 13 year olds. Find out more on the Castlehaven website

Events for carers

Camden Carers hosts regular events for carers, including day trips to museums, training sessions, yoga and walks. Visit the website or call 020 7428 8950.

Youth club activities

If you’re 13 to 19 (or 25 if you have a learning disability) you can get support, meet others and get involved in a variety of activities at one of our youth clubs - Somers Town Youth Centre, Fresh Youth Academy at Ingestre Road and Maitland Park Youth Project, and Netherwood Youth and Family Hub. Find out more on our Camden Rise website.

Celebrating LGBTQI+ life

forum+ runs regular social groups and events which celebrate LGBTQI+ life, including a monthly book club (the next one is 16 December, 7 to 8pm) and a monthly spoken word event (the next one is 15 December, 7 to 8.30 pm). To find out more about forum+ activities, call 0207 388 5720 or contact the team by email at

Festive Farm Fun

Kentish Town City Farm (1 Cressfield Cl, London NW5 4BN) is hosting four days of festive fun from 17 - 20 December, 12 – 3pm each day. It will include an illuminated treasure trail, wrapping paper workshop, festive treats and a meet and greet with Father Christmas on the Saturday and STraunday only. For more information, visit their Twitter profile

Christmas carol service

Lighthouse London is hosting a series of Christmas carol services open to everyone at Holy Trinity Church on Finchley Road, NW3 5HT. 

Training sessions for volunteers

Home Start is a local charity that supports and empowers parents with young children who are struggling to cope with everyday life. If you’re a parent, grandparent or carer who can spare a few ours a week to support a parent and their child or children,learn more or sign up for a volunteering training session taking place on 10 and 31 January 2022 or call 020 7099 6041.

A safe, strong and equal Camden

Community safety is a top concern for everyone. Our Community Presence and Engagement Teams deliver around 700 patrols across the borough every month to help tackle safety concerns in our town centres, green spaces and estates. We also work closely with the police and other partners on priorities like improving the safety of women and girls in our public spaces.

Please report any behaviour you see that makes you or others feel unsafe.

Report to our Community Safety service, or phone 020 7974 2915 (9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri). If you see or experience any incident that you or someone else believes to be racist, homophobic, transphobic, or due to a person’s religion, belief, gender identity or disability, it may be a hate crime – and there is support available. Find out more about recognising and reporting hate crimes

Get help and support this winter

We know that this winter is going to be hard for many people and we’re here to support you alongside Camden Advice Network, which is a group of local organisations that provide advice and support on a variety of issues. Take a look at the info below or give us a call on 020 7974 4444 (option 9). You can also call Camden Advice Network on 0808 278 7855.

Accessing mental health advice and support

Speak to your GP, visit or phone iCope on 020 3317 6670
Young people aged 11 to 18 can access safe and anonymous support from a qualified counsellor via a text-based conversation at or they can visit the Camden Rise website 
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or know someone who is, phone the 24-hour crisis line at St Pancras Hospital on 020 3317 6333. In an emergency, call 999
For more information, visit our dedicated mental health webpages

Employment support

  • Get support from an employment advisor or view a list of organisations that can help you find a job or better paid work at Good Work Camden
  • Young people can access careers and employment support by emailing Connexions at or calling 020 7974 7252

Housing support

  • If you’re a council tenant and worried about paying rent or service charges, or need support with a housing issue, please speak to your neighbourhood housing
  • officer. Alternatively, call 020 7974 4444 (option 3, then option 4) for advice
  • on rent arrears or call 020 7974 4444 (option 3, then option 6) for advice on service charge arrears
  • If you privately rent in Camden and have received an eviction notice or been told by your landlord that
  • you need to leave, help is available. Visit covid or call 020 7974 4444

Help accessing food

  • In December every child in a family who receive benefits will be sent food vouchers in the post
  • To find a food bank or for help accessing food including if you have to self-isolate and don’t have the means to get food delivered visit Find Food or call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) or email our community response team at
  • To find out how to join or start a local food co-op with your neighbours, where you can access excellent quality food for less money, visit Coorporation Town 
  • If you've got a school-aged child, turn to page 10 to find out about free activities that include a free healthy meal over the Christmas holidays

Support to self-isolate

If you're on a low income, you may be eligible to a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to support you to self-isolate. Find out more or call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9)

Worried about a rough sleeper in Camden?

Call the 24/7 reporting line on 0808 800 0005, so the Routes off the Streets (RTS) team can offer them a route away from rough sleeping and help them to start rebuilding their lives. Remember to include the exact location, time and date.
You can also contact RTS via the Camden StreetSafe app (download for free from your app store) or get in touch by email 

Domestic violence and abuse support

There is no place for violence and abuse in Camden. If you are experiencing domestic abuse of any form, or you’re worried about someone else, please know you are not alone. There is support available – please get in touch with Camden Safety Net today.

Worried about an elderly neighbour?

Please remember to check in on elderly neighbours, and neighbours who may be more at risk to, or feel isolated because of COVID-19, to make sure they have everything they need. If you’re worried about a neighbour in Camden, call:

  • Age UK Camden on 020 7837 3777 between 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Camden Council Adult Social Care on 020 7974 4000 (option 1) anytime, including Bank Holidays, other public holidays and weekends, or email

If there is an immediate risk to safety please call 999

Free financial wellbeing workshops

Citizens Advice Camden is hosting two free workshops to help Camden residents learn tips and tools to increase your financial wellbeing – including accessing benefits and discounts, budgeting and managing your money. They are taking place on 27 January and 10 February, 10.30am to 12.30pm. To find out more or to register, get in touch by email or call 07425 015 033.

News from Camden’s communities

In Camden we’re so proud to see local people, organisations and businesses working together to support each other, to make positive change and to tackle some of the big issues we’re facing. During the pandemic this has been particularly inspiring, as we’ve seen many examples of people looking out for each other and the importance of community.

Thank you to every single person who has made a difference over the past 18 months. Read more community stories on our We Make Camden website.

Rashid Iqbal, Chief Executive, The Winch

“For many young people, home hasn’t been a safe place at this time. [We’ve provided] a safe place for young people to go to. It’s also been [about] helping children make sense of the pandemic and what that means for them and their families, as often children struggle to make sense of this all.

John Boyle, Chief Executive, SHAK (South Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership)

“We’ve worked to reach out and maintain connections when we couldn’t bring people together, including linking people up with each other in their community. More recently, we have been part of the recovery effort by organising vaccine pop-up sessions and a community conversation online.

Malaika Bain-Peachey, Community Gardener, Global Generation’s Story Garden

"We had to zero in on our collective strengths, concentrating on supporting people with activities to do from home, growing produce and opening the garden when it was possible. We teamed up with the Camden Mobile Food Bank, part of Urban Community Projects, [and] stepped up our growing spaces and production to grow vegetables as quickly as possible to donate to the food bank."

How to get involved

If you have a great idea to help your neighbourhood, let us know if you need a helping hand to get it off the ground. You can get in touch with us via our We Make Camden website or call Camden Giving on 07554 877 092.

If your idea will help residents access food, increase diversity in leadership roles, support the climate emergency or provide opportunities for young people, you can also apply for up to

£1,500 of funding via the We Make Camden Kit. Find out more and apply at Camden Giving

Share your own stories on Instagram

Whether you’re volunteering, running a local business, shopping on our high streets or enjoying one of our parks, when you’re sharing photos or videos of Camden on Instagram, tag them using #WeMakeCamden. Make sure you follow us at @wemakecamden