Suffolk's Cost of Living Surviving Winter Appeal has today been launched as part of a county-wide effort to support households with food and bills over the coming months.

The initiative, supported by this newspaper, is being coordinated by Suffolk Community Foundation, Citizens Advice Ipswich and Suffolk County Council's 'Warm Homes Healthy People' project.

Though the 12th in a series of Appeals, the cost of living crisis has seen the scheme widened to not only provide grants to help people pay for fuel, but also to support food projects and local charities.

The initiative comes as new local data shows the sharptest rise in fuel poverty in Suffolk seen for some time. Despite local and national government support, it is estimated that a total of 75,000 households are now struggling to meet their living costs and heat their homes as winter approaches.

"This year, we are expecting more demand than ever before as so many struggle to make ends meet with costs rising across the board for all of us," said Nicky Willshere, chief executive of Ipswich Citizens Advice.

East Anglian Daily Times:

"So many households are having to decide between heating and eating more so than ever this year and every penny really does make a difference.

"Your valuable donation will be distributed to vulnerable households that are struggling."

In 2021/22, the Appeal raised nearly a quarter of a million pounds, providing warmth and other vital financial advice and support to over 1800 households across Suffolk.

Melanie Craig, chief executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “Our challenge is to ensure that this year’s appeal is our most successful yet.

"As always, we encourage people to hold on to their Winter Fuel Payment and other cost of living support if they need it to stay warm and well this winter.

"However, we ask that those who can make a donation, perhaps from their Government’s Winter Fuel Allowance, donate it to the Appeal.”

Suffolk Building Society chief executive, Richard Norrington, said: “As the cost of living crisis deepens, it's more important than ever that we support people to stay warm in their homes this winter.

“Our mission is to provide safe homes for our communities, and has been for over 170 years, so we are very proud to be supporting this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

"Our nine branches across the county will be accepting cash donations on behalf of Suffolk Community Foundation’s Appeal.”

If you would like to receive individual support from the Appeal, wherever you are in Suffolk, please contact Citizens Advice Ipswich on 01473 298634.

To donate to the Appeal, donate online by visiting, telephone 01473 602 602, visit any branch of Suffolk Building Society to make a payment over the counter.