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Ambulance service posts its Christmas wish list

Winter & the festive season means a busy time for ambulance service Credit: South East Coast Ambulance Service

With the festive season approaching, people are being reminded to only dial 999 when it's absolutely necessary.

South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) says it will receive many calls this Christmas, and most won't be an emergency.

It's suggesting people should drink sensibly, look out for vulnerable neighbours and make sure the turkey's cooked properly.

People can help us by following our simple advice and remembering that there are a number of ways in which they can seek help rather than dialling 999 when it’s not an emergency – be that via their GP, local pharmacist or by calling 111."

– Andy Cashman, Head of Resilience & Specialist Operations, SECAmb

SECAmb's Christmas wish list:

  • Stock up on your medicines cabinet as well as the Christmas chocolates - cold remedies, pain killers, indigestion tablets, diarrhoea or constipation remedies and plasters are useful to have in the home all year round
  • Order any repeat prescriptions you or your friends and family need
  • If drinking alcohol - have fun but be sensible and look out for others you're with
  • Excess alcohol consumption on its own isn't usually a reason to dial 999 for someone but if there's another complaint causing concern or someone loses consciousness then dial 999 without delay
  • Please remember 999 is for emergencies - if it's not an emergency and you need health advice then you have a number of options including calling 111, making an appointment with your GP or visiting your pharmacist
  • If you're in an at risk group - don't forget it's not too late to book a flu jab
  • Look out for any vulnerable friends and neighbours - what could you do to make their Christmas and New Year safer?
  • Take extra care if it's icy or wet. If driving keep your distance and drive to the road conditions
  • Wear layers as they keep you warmer than one thicker layer. They can also easily be removed as you warm up
  • Keep homes at the right temperature - ideally 18-21 degrees
  • If you're in charge in the kitchen, make sure you don't serve up undercooked turkey which can cause salmonella poisoning

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Royal Marines band's festive surprise for shoppers

Shoppers in Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quays had an unexpected surprise as the sounds of live music filled the air.

From across the shopping centre, musicians from Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth band began playing the festive song, Carol of the Bells. The "flash mob" stunt was part of the Royal Navy's Yule the Waves campaign, for the making of their special Christmas video.

Laura White, Musician, Royal Marines Band Portsmouth Credit: ITV News Meridian

The video will be released on Tuesday and the Royal Navy are asking people to share it on social media to show support for naval personnel who will be away from their families at Christmas.

Corp Drum Major, Buster Brown, choreographed the performance Credit: ITV News Meridian

Busy weekend for Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Around 350,000 people will visit the market in the run-up to Christmas Credit: ITV

It'll be a busy weekend for WInchester Cathedral Christmas Market.

Now in its 10th year and recognised as one of the best in Europe and renowned for its spectacular location, the market brings high quality exhibitors, Christmas gifts and an abundance of festive foods.

The pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink. As many as 350,000 visitors are expected to shop there.

The Christmas shop where everything is fake!

Rat droppings in cigarettes and urine in perfume. Just two of the delights that shoppers need to watch out for in the run up to Christmas.

Britain's first consumer protection fake shop has opened to help us identify dodgy and dangerous goods.

It's the brainchild of a charity called Impact Planet which is working with Trading Standards in Devon and Somerset to recycle fake goods - and educate the public at the same time. David Woodland reports.

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Community rallies round to help family, left homeless after Christmas fire

The roof was destroyed - a defectiove light bulb has been blamed Credit: Eddie Mitchell

A fire, just half an hour before Christmas Day, left a family homeless. The blaze, at Uckfield in East Sussex, has been blamed on an overheated lightbulb.

The fire is believed to have started in the loft of the semi-detached house. The family have returned to the property to salvage Christmas presents.

The local community is rallying round to the help the family today. A local councillor said an appeal had been started.

Dorset sailor sends Christmas message home

Naval Officer Lewis Jones will be in South Atlantic this Christmas Credit: Navy

Christmas for Royal Navy Officer Lewis Jones will be a different affair this year as he spends it away from family and friends on operations in the blustery long summer days of the South Atlantic.

Sub Lieutenant Jones, aged 20, from Wimborne in Dorset, is serving on board Royal Navy Ice Patrol Ship, HMS Protector, in the South Atlantic this Christmas.

Lewis says this is his favourite deployment as its his first, although he will miss his family and girlfriend back in Dorset.

Young Waterlooville sailor spends first Xmas on duty

Hannah went to South Downs College and is spending Christmas in the Gulf Credit: Navy

A 22-year-old sailor from Waterlooville is spending her first Christmas away from home.

Hannah Watson has been deployed on HMS Kent to the Gulf where she'll be serving on board Royal Navy frigate.

While her mum and dad will be tucking into Christmas dinner in Hampshire, Hannah will be out on her first deployment until May.

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