THE Surviving Winter appeal has reached yet another incredible milestone after more than £40,000 was donated by people across Suffolk and Essex.

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But the initiative, in which people donate their winter fuel payment if they can afford to, still needs your support to help vulnerable people pay their energy bills and stay warm as the temperatures plummet.

In Suffolk the appeal is being led by Age UK Suffolk, The Suffolk Foundation and the East Anglian Daily Times with the East of England Co-operative Society.

So far £35,000 has been contributed by kind-hearted people in the county and Stephen Singleton, chief executive of the Suffolk Foundation, said it was an amazing response.

He said: “As the weather turns for the worst, we are all conscious of how hard it is to keep ourselves and our homes warm enough.

“We can only begin to imagine how difficult it is for an older person who is worried about their heating bill, especially if they are not in the best of health.

“The amazing response to this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal shows the tremendous kindness of the EADT readers and we thank everyone who has shown their support to this special appeal.

“On behalf of the older people who are starting to receive winter hardship grants through our partnership with Age UK Suffolk, many thanks to everyone who has been so generous.”

In Essex the appeal, led by the Essex Community Foundation (ECF), has so far seen more than £5,000 contributed. Across the county it is estimated that around 600 people died last year because of cold weather and poor living conditions.

Caroline Taylor, programmes director for ECF, said: “We are very grateful to the generous people who have made donations to start off this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

“Now we need more people to support the campaign to help safeguard the health and welfare of the people we all want to help protect, the elderly and vulnerable, so that they can keep safe and well during the winter months.”

Anyone who feels they are able to forgo their Winter Fuel Payment can donate either part or all of it. To donate, please fill out the form printed in today’s EADT.

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