Can You Help Someone Survive Winter?

by Gerry Lynch last modified 19 Nov, 2014 04:00 PM

"Surviving Winter" fuel payment donation scheme launches across the country.

Every winter around 700 people die of cold weather related deaths across Wiltshire and Dorset, with hundreds more struggling to survive. This November, Dorset Community Foundation and Wiltshire Community Foundation will launch their annual appeal to highlight this problem across the counties and are calling for those who can afford to live comfortably this winter to help those who can’t. (Details for Hampshire residents are also provided at the bottom of this page.)

People aged 62 or over will receive between £100 and £300 as a winter fuel payment, regardless of their financial circumstances. The Surviving Winter payment allows people who can afford it to donate this cash to people who struggle to keep warm.

Ruth G from Calne, Wiltshire is 85 and disabled. She lives alone, cannot cook and relies on carers who visit 3 times a day because she is immobile. Her annual income is less than £12,000 and her electricity bills go up every year. She says “I am frightened of winter because if I fall ill it takes much longer to recover when you are cold”

Mary-Jane, 67 from Dorset has an existing lung condition and has been in and out of hospital for the last 3 years. She was told by doctors that she must keep warm during the winter or her health would deteriorate. Upon receiving the surviving winter payment, she said “I realised what hyperthermia was for the first time this year. The last two winters the cold has really hit me and I’ve had to go into hospital. Receiving the winter fuel funding from Dorset Community Foundation helped give me piece of mind, security and stopped my family from worrying about me as I live on my own. But most importantly it stopped me from having to go back into hospital.”

“I am very grateful for the help from the Foundation as it helped me live a life in the winter.”

Winter brings isolation and illness for the frail and elderly like Ruth and Mary-Jane.  It is a dangerous time because they cannot afford to heat their homes. We believe they should not be left to suffer. Surviving Winter is a simple and efficient way to alleviate genuine need in Wiltshire.

Both the Foundations work with partner organisations such as Age UK and the Citizens Advice Bureaux who identify those in need of help, with Wiltshire Community Foundation also working with Aster Living and the Credit Unions.

If you are eligible for the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment and do not need it, please help people like Ruth and Mary-Jane by making a donation to your local Community Foundation 

In Dorset

Send a cheque for the amount payable to Dorset Community Foundation to: Surviving Winter, Dorset Community Foundation, Abchurch Chambers, 24 St Peter’s Road, Bournemouth BH1 2LN

To pay by credit card please call 01202 292255. 

To donate £5 by text send WARM15 to 70070

To pay online go to www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org and click on the Surviving Winter link or just go straight here.

In Wiltshire

Send a cheque for the amount payable to The Community Foundation to: The Community Foundation, Sandcliff House, 21 Northgate Street, Devizes SN10 1JT

To pay by credit card please call 01380 729284  or text WARM215  to 70070 to donate £5

To pay online go to www.wiltshirecf.org.uk and click on the Surviving Winter link or just go straight here.

In Hampshire

Visit the Hants and Wight Community Foundation's Surviving Winter page for more details.

In other parts of the UK

Donate centrally to UK Community Foundation Funds.

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