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Help Someone Survive Winter

by Gerry Lynch last modified 11 Jan, 2018 02:43 PM

Lifesaving Surviving Winter appeal raises £120k so far to help older people at risk

An initiative which recycles unwanted winter fuel allowances to help local older people in need is appealing for further help as cold weather continues, having already raised around £120,000 across Dorset and Wiltshire.

The Surviving Winter appeal, which is in its seventh year, helps vulnerable people at risk of fuel poverty and social isolation. It is a national appeal which operates through local county-based community foundations across the country. It allows those who can afford to do without their winter fuel allowance, as well as anyone who wishes to do so, to give it to those in their county aged over sixty and in most need.

In Dorset alone, the appeal disperses donations all across the county through the Citizens Advice Bureau network and also the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

Karen Gorham, the Bishop of Sherborne has been supporting the Appeal over the last couple of years. She explained, “Surviving Winter is a great initiative. It enables grants towards heating costs be made to the most needy in our community from donations made to their local Community Foundation from those who have no real need for their fuel allowance.

“Whilst some of us enjoy plenty, there are those who experience fuel poverty during the winter months, particularly those in our rural areas where large sums are required to ensure an oil delivery. And you don’t need to be in receipt of a fuel allowance to give, anyone can donate to this worthwhile cause.”

In Wiltshire, an estimated 30,000 people live in fuel poverty, spending more than 10% of their annual income on fuel bills. Many of these people are already highly vulnerable and the effects of a harsh winter can be catastrophic on their ability to stay warm and well.

In Wiltshire, the local community foundation works in partnership with Age UK Wiltshire, Aster Living, Citizens Advice Wiltshire and the Credit Unions. Grants have been made to 161 individuals across the county with further applications being processed.

Mr Aish, one of the generous donors to the Appeal explained, “In a fairly prosperous country such as the United Kingdom, I do not think that anyone should be in this position, so I have the pleasure to be donating to this worthwhile cause.”

Mr Hills, one of those who is benefiting, said, “My partner and I suffer ill-health and without this grant we would not have been able to meet the rising electricity costs.

“Asking for help and making an application for a grant can be daunting - but the staff at Wiltshire Community Foundation and Age UK, supported us and handled the application sensitively and efficiently.”

In Dorset

If you are struggling with fuel poverty and you need help, please ring Citizens Advice Bureau network on 01929 775500 or the Centre for Sustainable Energy on 0300 003 7023.

To donate, please send a cheque made out to Dorset Community Foundation to: Dorset Community Foundation, The Spire, High Street, Poole, BH15 1DF or to donate online or find out more please visit www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org.

In Wiltshire

To donate please visit www.wiltshirecf.org.uk or call 01380 729284.

In Hampshire

To donate visit http://www.hiwcf.com/donation/surviving-winter/.

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