Suffolk residents struggling to keep warm this winter will be supported once again this year by the Surviving Winter Appeal which aims to help everyone in Suffolk have a cosy Christmas.  

In Suffolk, local data demonstrates the sharpest rise in fuel poverty here in decades with 100,000 people - one in seven - finding it difficult to heat their homes and meet their living costs as winter approaches.

That's why Suffolk businesses have joined forces with the Suffolk Community Foundation to ensure that local people are supported to stay warm this winter. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Help give a Suffolk family a cosy Christmas with this year's Surviving winter campaignHelp give a Suffolk family a cosy Christmas with this year's Surviving winter campaign (Image: LOGS: A log fire. Photo: Getty Images)

Suffolk Community Foundation’s 13th annual Surviving Winter Appeal was launched this year at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds. 

The fundraising message was simple.

If you are in position to give whatever you can afford, are in receipt of a non-means tested government Winter Fuel Payment that you don’t need or would like to fundraise in your community or business, please do everything you can to support Suffolk Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

Last year's appeal raised over £340,000 with the fundraising and programme of support led by Suffolk Community Foundation in partnership with Citizens Advice branches across Suffolk, who will be distributing the support. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The launch of the Surviving Winter 2023 appeal at West Suffolk CollegeThe launch of the Surviving Winter 2023 appeal at West Suffolk College (Image: Eastern Education Group)

Chief Executive of Suffolk Community Foundation, Melanie Craig, said: ‘Every year we review the need in Suffolk and work with Citizens Advice to ensure support is being offered to those who need it most.

"Both national and local poverty statistics align with the difficult stories of suffering that we are hearing directly from our local charity partners.

"Fuel poverty is spreading in large numbers'. 

In recent years, the percentage of income spent by the average household on essential living costs has increased to 70%, an indication that, for many, personal finances are unsustainable.

The biggest rises in need are being seen among working families and single income households. 

‘’We’ve identified a figure of 100,000 living in fuel poverty, but the number is rising; new people are coming to us every day,” said Nicky Willshere from Citizens Advice Ipswich. 

“We are meeting many more people who are in work and every month are ending up with negative budget.

"They don’t earn quite enough for the extra government help, and they don’t know where to turn.

"The impact on a family is huge; cutting back on food, cutting back on heating. Every time there is news of yet another price rise, I know this will be causing even more damage to the mental and physical health of people who are already doing everything they can to make ends meet.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Please support the Surviving Winter 2023 appealPlease support the Surviving Winter 2023 appeal (Image: Eastern Education Group)

The generosity of local people in Suffolk has always been strong, but with everyone seeing expenses increase, the Surviving Winter Appeal is also looking to businesses to increase levels of giving.  

This year’s appeal has already received a boost thanks to sponsors MSC Shipping and Pound Gates.

Suffolk Building Society are once again letting people make donations across the counter at all their branches and the East of England Co-operative and many other local companies attended the launch and pledged support. 

“We would love other Suffolk businesses to support us this year. All the money raised stays within the county so it’s in all our interests to help,” said Wendy Quantrill from Suffolk Building Society. 

"If one in ten businesses across the county made a small gesture, it would have a huge impact.

"As always, we encourage people to hold on to their Winter Fuel Payment if they need it. However, in the long held ‘Don’t Need it, Donate it’ spirit of this appeal, we ask that those who can make a donation, please do so.” 

Claire Waterson, operations manager for the Culinary Arts Academy based at West Suffolk College said: " West Suffolk College, Eastern Education Group and Edmunds Restaurant were delighted to host the launch of the appeal.

"This campaign supports some of the most vulnerable people in our community. It's a pleasure to do our bit."

If you would like to receive individual support from the SURVIVING WINTER APPEAL,  contact Citizen’s Advice Ipswich on 01473 298634 or visit Surviving Winter – Citizens Advice Ipswich 

To donate to the Appeal, donate online by visiting, telephone 01473 602 602 (during office hours), visit any branch of Suffolk Building Society to pay over the counter or send a cheque made payable to ‘Suffolk Community Foundation’ to - The Old Barns, Peninsula Business Centre, Wherstead, Ipswich, IP9 2BB. 

Please ensure your contact details are on the back of the cheque and make reference to Surviving Winter.