Surviving Winter hits a record £125,000 in Suffolk – but it’s not too late for you to help

The launch of the Surviving Winter campaign Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation

The launch of the Surviving Winter campaign Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s Surviving Winter appeal has had another record breaking year, already reaching the £125,000 fundraising mark.

Ali, Max and landlord Dan Lightfoot at MeetUpMondays at the Greyhound in Ipswich Picture: Suffolk C

Ali, Max and landlord Dan Lightfoot at MeetUpMondays at the Greyhound in Ipswich Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation - Credit: Archant

The campaign, which urges people to donate winter fuel payments to those who are struggling to afford heating bills, has already distributed nearly £80,000 to over 600 homes across Suffolk.

Tim Holder, from Suffolk Community Foundation (SCF), said: “This would not have been possible without the kindness of the residents of Suffolk.”

He added: “The £30,000 match fund provided by Hopkins Homes has made a huge difference too, allowing us to reach more homes and individuals than ever before.”

By the end of this winter’s appeal it is believed that a record number of 800 homes will have been reached. However, it does not end here.

Josh Hopkins meets regulars at MeetUpMondays at the Greyhound Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation

Josh Hopkins meets regulars at MeetUpMondays at the Greyhound Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation - Credit: Archant

While focus is being given to heating, Citizens Advice, which takes all requests for help, is also providing general financial advice to recipients and asking questions about living conditions and physical and mental health.

A total of 321 people have been referred for other forms of support, 163 of whom struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation.

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This is where the Surviving Winter Appeal’s partner MeetUpMondays plays an important part.

This project sees pubs, cafes and tearooms across Suffolk offer a couple of extra hours of free tea and coffee, encouraging all who are isolated or who have little human contact to come and meet new people in a peaceful environment.

Esme, Jean and Stella at MeetUpMondays in the Greyhound Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation

Esme, Jean and Stella at MeetUpMondays in the Greyhound Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation - Credit: Archant

Josh Hopkins, from Hopkins Homes, and some of the team from SCF recently paid a visit to The Greyhound pub in Ipswich to experience one of the MeetUpMondays projects.

Mr Hopkins said: “Loneliness is a real issue, which is why Hopkins Homes is proud to support such a great initiative that aims to combat this problem within the local community.”

Ann Osborn, director of Rural Coffee Caravan, which runs MeetUpMondays, said: “We’re so thrilled that the MeetUpMondays project has become part of the Surviving Winter team this year. Isolation can have a very negative effect on a person’s physical and mental health in the winter particularly, but all year round too.”

To make a donation to the Surviving Winter Appeal, please visit Suffolk Community Foundation.

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