December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Harris
Monday, December 24, 2012
A FUNDRAISING appeal to help vulnerable Suffolk people stay warm is on course to rake in a record haul.
The Surviving Winter campaign, which sees readers donate their winter fuel payment, has smashed through the £50,000 barrier.
The initiative - led by East Anglian Daily Times, Age UK Suffolk and The Suffolk Foundation - raised £55,000 last year and helped 250 people.
A charity involved with the campaign said they were “astounded and delighted” by the response to this year’s appeal.
It comes as many of the major energy firms raised their prices this year.
According to independent price comparison website uSwitch.com, the annual cost of heating home has increased from £360 to £587 in five years.
More than 56,000 households in Suffolk are in fuel poverty.
And, on average, 454 vulnerable people die in the county each winter from causes directly attributable to cold and poor living conditions.
Stephen Singleton, chief executive of The Suffolk Foundation, said: “We are simply astounded and delighted by the reaction to the Surviving Winter Appeal and would like to thank the East Anglian Daily Times readers for their generosity and desire to help vulnerable older people.
“The support has already enabled Age UK Suffolk to start distributing grants to those most in need and as expected, we are seeing a significant demand for help as we progress with the campaign.
“This year our aim is to reach out to even more older people in need and with this continued generous support we are determined to make that happen.”
Winter fuel payments range from £100-£300, depending on your age and circumstances. Anyone getting the state pension should be entitled to the payments; more is given to those over 80.