Almost £130,000 has been raised so far in a countywide appeal to help support the most vulnerable people in Suffolk this winter.

The Cost-of-Living Surviving Winter Appeal, which is supported by this newspaper, has seen over £90,000 passed on to Citizens Advice Ipswich to give out as grants to individuals and families across the county. 

Just under £40,000 has been awarded to lunch clubs and warm hubs.

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

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk Community Foundation's Michael AttwoodSuffolk Community Foundation's Michael Attwood (Image: Sylvaine Poitau)

The initiative is the 12th in the annual series of winter appeals.

However, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has resulted in the campaign being widened to not only provide grants to help people pay for fuel, but also to support food projects and local charities.

"The weather has turned colder and it is even more important to keep warm," said Michael Attwood, partnership manager at Suffolk Community Foundation.

"We ask those that can afford to donate to do so.

"The very hard times charities are facing when exposed to their own energy bills means their service provision is jeopardised.

"We have the aspiration to support voluntary organisations, as well as to continue to be able to award Surviving Winter Payments to more individuals and families through the winter.”

A total of 75,000 households across Suffolk are believed to be struggling to meet living costs and heat homes. 

Concerns are widespread that this could worsen as the temperature continues to plunge.

"What we hadn’t really expected was that people would buy two hotpots at our Thursday One Pot Wonder… one to eat there and one to take home for later, and between 30 and 40 come," explained Claire Staddon, chief executive at Emmaus Suffolk.

East Anglian Daily Times: Claire Staddon, chief executive of Emmaus SuffolkClaire Staddon, chief executive of Emmaus Suffolk (Image: CHARLOTTE BOND)

"We have school-run mums who come in and take portions home for the family.

"We are doing it as we are aware that people are making really difficult decisions on how they spend their money, and we know that we are dealing with a demographic that has never needed to think that way."

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

You can donate online by visiting, telephone 01473 602 602, visit any branch of Suffolk Building Society to make a payment over the counter or fill in the coupon in the East Anglian Daily Times and send a cheque.