How the Surviving Winter campaign has saved lives in Suffolk

Suffolk Community Foundation runs a Surviving Winter campaign raising money to help older and vulner

Suffolk Community Foundation runs a Surviving Winter campaign raising money to help older and vulnerable people stay warm. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk residents helped by the Surviving Winter appeal last year have spoken of how the support has changed their lives - and encouraged anyone else in need to be brave and ask for help. 

Over the past decade, the Surviving Winter appeal has raised more than £1.2m, with £298,000 contributed last year alone. 

Beneficiaries to the scheme have said it is "saving lives" and providing peace of mind as they can afford to keep their homes heated in winter months.

Andrew got Covid at the beginning of the pandemic and said it weakened his lungs and made him feel the cold a lot more. He said: "Surviving Winter has helped me to buy logs for my wood burner which has to stay on all the time. Thank you so much to everyone who is giving so generously. You are saving lives in Suffolk, no doubt about it." 

An operation on her spine left Christine partially bedridden and using hot water bottles to keep warm. But financial support from Surviving Winter meant she could heat her home and "get out of bed and sit and move around a little, which really helps with the pain".

Suffolk Community Foundation is urging donors and anyone who needs support to come forward

Suffolk's Surviving Winter Appeal has launched as requests for support begin - Credit: Suffolk Community Foundation

Susan and her husband, both in their 70s, have been helped by the appeal for a few years. Their basic pensions and problems with their health made it difficult to stay warm at home, and Surviving Winter helps with fuel bills - but support isn't just financial. Advice and assistance to get a new heating system installed has saved the couple money on their water bills. 

Susan said: "The help we have received has really changed our lives. Yes, you do have to be brave to receive help, you feel that you should be managing, but sometimes you just have to accept that you can't carry on as you are and have to ask.  

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"The appeal team have been lovely, caring and trustworthy and we just can't thank everyone enough for all they have done to help us." 

Georgett, who is also in her 70s and on a basic pension, echoed the need for people to ask for help, saying: "I'm independent and I don't like asking for help and felt really nervous about doing it, but I'm so glad that I did. It's made a huge difference to my life and now I can stay warm at home." 

If you would like to receive individual support from the Surviving Winter Appeal, contact Citizen's Advice on 01473 298634. 

To support the Surviving Winter Appeal, donate online at www.suffolkcf.org.uk, call 01473 602602 during office hours, visit any branch of Suffolk Building Society to make a payment over the counter or fill in the coupon in today's East Anglian Daily Times and send a cheque made payable to Suffolk Community Foundation to The Old Barns, Peninsula Business Centre, Wherstead, Ipswich, IP9 2BB. 

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