Surviving Winter Appeal: More than £40,000 donated to heat homes of those in need
- Credit: SUFFOLK COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
More than £40,000 has been given to those most in need in Suffolk this winter to keep them warm - and there is still time for you to help others.
The campaign, run by the Suffolk Community Foundation, has distributed £43,965 to vulnerable people in the county who cannot afford to heat their homes during the cold weather.
The money is comprised of winter fuel payment donations from those who do not need it and given out as grants to those who do.
So far 280 grants have been awarded to help those in need. One of those recipients was a woman called Mary, who has asked us not to use her surname, in Haverhill.
"I have received the grant for the last three years and it has helped me very much," she said.
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"I don't have to worry about heating my home in winter and it takes a lot of the stress away.
"I know that Surviving Winter is there with a helping hand - and they really listen too. I cannot thank them enough."
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Working with charities such as the Rural Coffee Caravan and Meet Up Mondays, the Surviving Winter Appeal also encourages those who are more isolated to improve their mental health and tackle loneliness.
Peter, another recipient living in Ipswich who has also asked us not to use his surname, said: "I am on my own mostly and have everything to do around the home including keeping my large garden tidy, taxis to get my shopping and so on - which leaves very little money to heat the house.
"When you're older, having the heating on helps so much as it relieves stress and worry.
"Without the support of the Surviving Winter Appeal to keep me warm, I don't know what I would do." Ipswich Citizen's Advice coordinates the distribution of the money, and chief officer Nicky Willshire said: "Donating to the Surviving Winter Appeal not only ensures that you will improve the wellbeing and warmth of another Suffolk resident, but proves that community spirit and support is as important as it ever was."
Gary Crockett, of appeal partner Warm Homes Healthy People, added: "The Surviving Winter Appeal is a crucial resource for Suffolk. Without it, hundreds of households across the county would be left without heating."
Tim Holder, head of public affairs at Suffolk Community Foundation, said: "For anyone of any age, when money is tight the winters months are always the hardest. Every penny raised stays in Suffolk and is quickly distributed to a vulnerable person in need."
You can donate to the appeal online at www.suffolkcf.org.uk or by phone on 01473 602602. For support regarding winter fuel payments, call Ipswich Citizen's Advice Bureau on 01473 298634.