AFTER £55,000 was kindly donated by people across Suffolk last year, the Surviving Winter Appeal is hoping to help save hundreds of more lives over the coming months.

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The 2012 Surviving Winter fundraising initiative, led by Age UK Suffolk, The Suffolk Foundation and the East Anglian Daily Times - with the East of England Co-operative Society - needs your support to help vulnerable people pay their energy bills and stay warm as the temperatures plummet.

With many older people having to make the stark choice between heating their homes or putting food on the table, The Suffolk Foundation is launching the second Surviving Winter Appeal to help reduce fuel poverty and isolation in Suffolk. It is a shocking fact that hundreds of people die unnecessarily each winter in Suffolk.

Anyone who feels they are able to forgo their Winter Fuel Payment can donate either part or all of it to the Surviving Winter Appeal to help make a difference to someone’s life and reduce fuel poverty in Suffolk.

Stephen Singleton, chief executive of The Suffolk Foundation, said: “Winter is a worrying and isolating time for Suffolk’s older population, with many people unaware that there are organisations like Age UK Suffolk that can help them.

“Last year, the Surviving Winter Appeal was a huge success and thanks to the support of the public, the campaign raised a total of £55,000, which was given as grants to older people in need in Suffolk.

“But this still wasn’t enough, the demand was even higher and we know that we could have helped many more older people. This is why we are launching the appeal again this year, with the experience and support of Age UK Suffolk, we want to reach out and help older people again this winter.”

Nationally this is the second year that community foundations will be running the appeal. Last year, the Surviving Winter Appeal received an enormous amount of support from the public, generating more than £2.5 million in total across the UK.

EADT editor Terry Hunt added: “People donated extremely generously last year, taking the total well past £50,000. If anything, with soaring energy bills, the need is even greater this winter. With the generosity of Suffolk people, I hope we can beat last year’s total.”

Forms will be printed regularly in the EADT over the coming weeks and all the details will be available to help people make a contribution.

This year, with the support of the East of England Co-operative Society, The Suffolk Foundation is aiming to help even more older people stay warm and pledge forms will be available in all stores throughout the winter.

For more information or if you would like to donate your Winter Fuel Payment, please fill out the form printed in today’s EADT, call The Suffolk Foundation directly on 01473 602602 or visit The Suffolk Foundation’s website, www.suffolkfoundation.org.uk.

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