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Final push for Surviving Winter donations in Suffolk as Beast from the East heightens need

PUBLISHED: 16:57 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:11 06 March 2018

Residents could have been left out in the cold if it hadn't been for the emergency delivery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents could have been left out in the cold if it hadn't been for the emergency delivery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Arctic conditions brought by the Beast from the East turbo charged a more severe and prolonged period of colder weather – creating the perfect storm for vulnerable older people, campaigners have said.

Charity leaders and campaigners at the launch of this season's Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWNCharity leaders and campaigners at the launch of this season's Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Organisers of the Surviving Winter appeal in Suffolk say that at this point of the year they would usually be pulling together the final strands of the appeal – with spring already on its way.

However, despite this year’s campaign already collecting more than £104,000, more people than ever before are being hit by the challenges of winter.

Head of public affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation, Tim Holder, said:

“It really could not be a worse combination of challenges for older people trying to stay warm in their homes.

Surviving Winter donation formSurviving Winter donation form

“Three major elements have come together to create ‘the perfect storm’ for vulnerable older people in Suffolk.

“The combination of a much deeper and prolonged period of colder weather than in previous years was then dramatically turbo-charged in severity by ‘The Beast from the East’ arctic conditions of the past week.

“This has led to a surge in usage as people struggle to stay warm, compounded by a huge leap in domestic oil prices at a point when tanks are already running lower than usual.”

Now bosses are making a final plea to anyone who can help with a donation that they can afford.

Nicky Willshire, who is handling requests for this season’s campaign at Ipswich Citizen’s Advice, said: “There is usually a rise in requests for help in early March and into April anyway as many try to manage their bills quarterly.

“This year we have already exceeded the entire requests for help from last year’s campaign without any significant increase in donations and we’ve got another six weeks or so still to go.

“We really do need to ask Suffolk people that have receive a winter fuel payment and don’t need it or anyone else who can dig deep and continue to help us to do so.

She added: “It’s a big ask, but we need their help, we really do.”

• Make a donation by phone on 01473 602602, or by visiting any branch of Ipswich Building Society.

Alternatively, fill in the coupon in tomorrow’s East Anglian Daily Times or visit the Suffolk Community Foundation website.

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