Surviving Winter charity makes plea for donations after increase in need

Launch of this year's Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Launch of this year's Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The charity behind Suffolk’s Surviving Winter campaign has put out an urgent plea for donations having seen a huge surge in the number of people needing its help.

Launch of this year's Surviving Winter campaign. Pictured is Tim Holder. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Launch of this year's Surviving Winter campaign. Pictured is Tim Holder. Picture: GREGG BROWN

More than £80,000 has already been raised for this year’s campaign, with more than half the money having already been distributed to vulnerable older people in the county.

But although the campaign has seen donations as high as last year, Suffolk Community Foundation say they have seen a big increase in the number of people needing help – and want to raise a further £30,000 to bridge the gap.

Tim Holder, head of public affairs at the charity, said: “People are giving just as generously this year and we thank everyone who has donated so far, but the reality is that temperatures have dropped much further much faster this year.

“Also both need and awareness that help is available have grown considerably too.

Surviving Winter donation form

Surviving Winter donation form - Credit: Archant

“This winter, we have already helped to heat almost 400 homes with the traditionally colder months still to come.

“We can already see that demand this year will far outstrip the 641 homes we supported in total last year and it’s vital that we are able to continue to say yes to every older vulnerable person who needs our help.

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“Keeping warm isn’t a luxury when you are older it is essential, absolutely vital.

“We really do need as many more people as possible to give what they can reasonably afford to help us.

“Hopefully this we can bring in at least the additional £30,000 that is very likely to be needed.”

More than 700 older people lose their lives in Suffolk during the winter months due to the cold weather and poor living conditions. For every death there are seven more hospital admissions to the cold weather.

Chief officer at Citizen’s Advice in Ipswich, Nicky Willshire, added: “The overwhelming message is that older people want to stay warm in their own homes.

“The majority are happier and healthier if we can keep them out of hospital and warm in the familiar surroundings.”

To help the campaign, by either donating your government Winter Fuel Payment or making donation, call 01473 602602, give online at www.suffolkcf.org.uk or make a donation in any branch of Ipswich Building Society.

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