Surviving Winter campaign helps more than 100, but donations urgently needed
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A campaign to combat fuel poverty in Suffolk has helped more than 100 people to stay warm this winter in the first three weeks since its launch.
The Surviving Winter campaign, run by the Suffolk Community Foundation, has so far raised £32,000 this year, with grants having already been given to 117 people aged over 62 in the county.
The average payment donated to each household is £200, with £17,350 having already been given out this season. The highest number of recipients so far has been in the Suffolk Coastal area, in which 20 grants, totalling £3,600, have been given, closely followed by Waveney (15, £3,050), Ipswich (18, £3,500) and Mid Suffolk (13, £2,600).
For the same period last year, only 39 grants had been made, compared to 89 this year, meaning that demand for support is up by 100% on last year already.
Tim Holder, director of the Suffolk Community Foundation, has warned that the money is going out much quicker than it is coming in, and has sent an urgent appeal to those who don’t need their winter fuel payment to donate it to the cause.
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“Being able to give this amount in the first three weeks of the campaign is amazing,” he said. “One of the really special things about the Surviving Winter campaign is the speed at which donations are passed on to make an immediate difference.
“It is so pleasing to hear in just one month, Age UK have already been able to distribute the funds we have raised so far to help over 100 older people in Suffolk.
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“What this does mean, of course, is that donations need to keep up with this demand.
“We never want to have to say no to helping vulnerable older members of our community, so please keep donations coming in.
“This year the campaign really needs to raise £100,000 so please support the Surviving Winter campaign if you can.”
Winter fuel payments are automatically given by the government to everyone over the age of 62 in November and December each year, with payments this year ranging from £100 to £300 depending on personal circumstances.
The money raised via Suffolk’s Surviving Winter campaign is distributed in partnership with Age UK Suffolk. For more information about receiving support, call Age UK Suffolk on (01473) 359911.
To donate your Winter Fuel Payment, or to make a personal donation, visit www.suffolkcf.org.uk, call (01473) 602602, visit your local branch of Ipswich Building Society or fill in the form published on this page. The campaign will run until March 2016.