Winter appeal raises staggering £200,000 in matter of weeks to help save lives
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A rallying call to help save lives by keeping Suffolk homes warm during winter has already raised an incredible £200,000 in a matter of weeks.
Suffolk Community Foundation has run the Surviving Winter appeal alongside this newspaper for several years, to support homes at risk of suffering from the cold during the harsh winter months.
This year, it launched the Rebuilding Local Lives Surviving Winter Appeal a month earlier than usual – so it could also help rebuild the lives of those negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, within just weeks of its launch, the appeal has raised £200,000 of its £300,000 target - meaning it has been able to help 300 homes already.
Yet, despite the amazing success, Tim Holder - head of public affairs for Suffolk Community Foundation - said it was vital the appeal raised another £50,000 by Christmas, as winter temperatures fall and even more people require emergency help.
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“With applications flooding in for help, we are so pleased to have already been able to heat 300 homes within the first month of the appeal being active,” said Mr Holder.
“But we have many more months of the coldest weather still to come and we know, after many years of running the appeal, that the most generous time for giving to the appeal is right now as we come into the festive season.”
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To help it reach its £250,000 Christmas target, the foundation has secured a match fund worth £23,000 - where four local and national trusts will between them match every pound donated from now.
Among those to have already benefited from the appeal this year is Susan, who is aged in her 70s and lives on a basic pension with her husband in Ipswich.
Both have health problems, with Susan suffering from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, while her husband had bowel cancer.
“It’s so important to be able to stay warm at home,” she said.
“My husband worries about me especially and it’s a real struggle sometimes trying to live on just a basic pension.
“We heard about Surviving Winter Appeal a couple of years ago and they have been helping us ever since.
“We’ve had support with our heating bill several time now. £150 from the appeal this year.
“But we’ve also had help with our heating system and were given a brand new boiler and the team also helped us save a lot money on our Anglian Water bills.
“The help we have received has really changed our lives.”
Georgette, also from Ipswich, says she is “struggling on my own with just a basic pension” and is “not in the best of health”.
“I’m independent and I don’t like asking for help and I felt really nervous about doing it, but I’m so glad that I did,” she said of the appeal.
“It’s made a huge difference to my life and now I can stay warm at home.”
How to help
? Contact Citizens Advice on 01473 219770 about how to get support from the appeal.
? Donate to the appeal by visiting www.suffolkcf.org.uk, calling 01473 602602 during office hours or paying over the counter at Ipswich Building Society.