Suffolk: Charity leader has “real concerns” for health of older people this winter

Care home provider seeks operations manager

Care home provider seeks operations manager - Credit: PA

The leader of a charity for older people in Suffolk has said she has “real concerns” about the suffering that could result from a combination of rising energy prices and a particularly cold winter.

Anesta Newson, chief executive of The Bridge Project in Sudbury, urged people to back this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, spearheaded by the Suffolk Community Foundation, Age UK, and the East Anglian Daily Times.

The campaign to help those suffering from fuel poverty in Suffolk has already raised more than £8,000.

Anyone who feels they are able to forego their winter fuel payment can donate either part or all of it to the appeal to help make a difference to somebody’s life and reduce winter deaths across the county.

The Bridge Project offers vocational training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. It also provides other vital community services, including an over 65’s lunch club, a freshly cooked hot lunch delivery service for the housebound, and a drop-in facility for those with mental health problems.

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It is also runs a Courtyard community café, which is open daily to the public.

She added: “We constantly hear of how some older people cannot afford to heat their homes all day. Locally many keep warm by spending time in shops, libraries, supermarkets and coffee shops.

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“We have found that most of the older people we support at The Bridge Project are a proud group of people who have great difficulty in asking for help.

“After mentioning about the Surviving Winter Campaign last year, many applied for help and said, ‘Oh no dear, there are worse off people than me, I’ll manage’.

“We find it staggering that in our day and age, many people die in Suffolk because they can’t afford to keep warm.

“As an organisation that supports Sudbury’s older generation we have real concerns this year, especially with the pending cold weather predictions and warnings of increases in energy prices.

“We will once again be informing our lunch club members about the Surviving Winter Campaign and how Suffolk Community Foundation wants to help older people with limited funds this winter.”

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