Record-breaking Surviving Winter campaign heats more homes than ever before
A campaign that has warmed hearts and saved lives across Suffolk this winter has been hailed as the best ever after raising just under £300,000 to help tackle fuel poverty.
Suffolk Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Appeal has raised £298,450 to help older and vulnerable people in the county stay warm this winter. That figure is more than double the amount raised in previous years, and means Suffolk tops the leader board of county appeals across the UK.
Leading the appeal, Tim Holder, Head of Public Affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation said: “We are feeling so proud for Suffolk. Not only are we breaking our own county records with the money raised this year, we also find ourselves proving our ‘Caring County’ status once again, by leading nationwide with our record-breaking efforts here in Suffolk.
"With the lockdown gently easing, yet Suffolk still experiencing sub-zero temperatures, it is truly heart-warming to know that our local community has come together and already heated over 1,000 homes across every corner of the county. We are so grateful and want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us get this far, but there is still more work to be done.”
The appeal has helped saves lives because every winter hundreds of families are forced to choose between heating and food as their energy bills soar - and there are still more than need support.
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Mr Holder said the phone lines at Citizen’s Advice are still open for those in need and the team are available to help in any way they can.
Nicky Willshire, Chief Officer at Citizen’s Advice in Ipswich said: “Providing heat to over 1,000 homes is great progress and we’ve been able to refer 100s of people on to receiving other vital support to, assisting them to improve their living conditions with better heating and insulation, helping with energy tariffs and debt advice and connecting people to help if they are feeling isolated and alone.”
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People like Sylvia, Christine and Nick have all received recent funding from the appeal, enabling them to put money towards additional heating over these cold winter months, whilst they spent even more time in their homes during lockdown.
Christine revealed: “This has been a ‘lifesaver’ for me, following a period of such struggle through the bitter cold of this winter.”
Richard Norrington, Chief Executive Officer at appeal partners Ipswich Building Society said: "The Society is proud to support the Foundation’s winter appeal and to have enabled people across Suffolk to donate through our branches. We have been amazed how our county has responded to the appeal, enabling the Foundation to help reach people who are vulnerable and in need of vital support.”