Fresh appeal to reach Surviving Winter target
- Credit: Gregg Brown
As the weather takes a turn for the worse, a fresh appeal has been made to help people in Suffolk through the winter months.
The Surviving Winter campaign has seen £76,000 donated to help thousands of elderly and vulnerable people living in the county who will struggle to stay warm this winter.
Hundreds of lives have been saved by the campaign, but the Suffolk Community Foundation, along with the EADT, are determined reach the £100,000 target.
Every winter everyone aged over 60 on the qualifying date is given a tax-free payment of £200 (or £100 if they live with someone else who qualifies) to help towards the cost of heating their homes, and the payment is raised to £300 for those over 80.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a universal benefit, meaning those still working, those who have moved to sunnier climes and those with a healthy pension will still receive the payment.
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The initiative asks people who do not feel they need their winter fuel allowance to donate it to others who do through Suffolk Community Foundation and Age UK Suffolk so they can heat their homes without worrying about the cost.
A woman who wished only to be known as Ms W, has received money as part of the campaign, and underlined the importance of donating.
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She said: “I am enormously grateful for this grant towards heating costs. Like many people in ancient Suffolk houses, I have no central heating.
“One recent cold night, in bed, my heart was beating worryingly erratically; then I remembered – thanks to this generous grant I can afford to keep a portable electric heater on overnight in the bedroom.”
A man, known as Mr H, who has donated to the campaign, said: “My wife and I are very fortunate to have a decent pension that allows us to keep our own home as warm as we need. However, we are both octogenarians and we really feel the cold much more these days.
“We think we are good for our age, but getting around to warm up isn’t as easy as it used to be.
“We think it must be difficult for some people and can see this campaign would help people stay well and probably save lives too. I was really pleased to read about the Surviving Winter Appeal and we are both happy to give our Winter Fuel cheque to someone else locally who needs it. Good idea, and all best with your campaign.”
Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “The arrival of the wintry weather is a sharp reminder of the purpose of Surviving Winter, and of how important the appeal is in helping to keep hundreds of vulnerable people in Suffolk safe and warm.
“To have reached £76,000 is a brilliant tribute to the generosity of so many people and will have helped large numbers of people, but we are really determined to reach our target of £100,000. If you are able to help this fantastic cause, please do so.”