Surviving Winter campaign likely to help a record number of Suffolk people this winter

With freezing north winds set to bring another blast of Arctic air this week, the Surviving Winter campaign will once again show its true worth to the older people of Suffolk.

Weathermen are forecasting plummeting temperatures as the latest cold snap arrives and the funds raised to help people stay warm and healthy in their homes will be vital.

Since the turn of the year, Suffolk Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter fundraising drive – supported by the EADT – has added nearly £10,000 to its total, bringing it to almost £80,000, the record set two years ago and which now looks set to be broken.

Everyone involved would dearly love to see the £100,000 target reached, especially as more people than ever may need help this winter.

The campaign relies wholly on donations, many of which are unwanted Winter Fuel Payments.

Development director Tim Holder said the sum raised from donations so far was a “fantastic achievement”.

He said: “However, we are still £20,000 away from meeting our target of £100,000. We already know Age UK Suffolk has received 225 applications from older people in need of extra financial support this winter.

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“Last year 294 households were helped.

“With at least two more months of winter to go and temperatures plummeting to well below zero, we anticipate that the number of people needing support will increase from the number helped last year.

“This is why we need your support; it would be absolutely terrible to have to turn anyone who needs help away.

“We are so grateful to the EADT readers who have responded so generously to this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

“We know from Age UK Suffolk that the funding is already making a huge difference to so many vulnerable older people in Suffolk this winter – enabling people to keep their heating on when they need it most. It is always very moving to hear the direct quotes from those who have been helped, and it makes it all very worthwhile to know that people really do appreciate the extra help.”

Suffolk Community Foundation is working in partnership with Age UK Suffolk to distribute the funds effectively.

Age UK Suffolk works with each individual to assess their needs and also to identify other areas where support may be required – from practical advice and assistance with benefit applications to taking steps to help people remain living independently at home.

Broadcaster Helen McDermott, a big supporter of the campaign, said: “When we launched the campaign in November, I remember saying that the £100,000 target seemed huge and I wasn’t at all sure how we’d get there. Perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so surprised to know how generous people in Suffolk can be.”