About Surviving Winter 2014
Surviving Winter is a campaign run by UK Community Foundations (UKCF) that raises money to help older and vulnerable people to stay warm and well this winter. Donations from the public will be used in a number of ways – from funding lunch clubs and social groups for disadvantaged people, to helping vulnerable people pay their energy bills to avoid a choice between eating and heating and better insulate their homes.
Winter is a dangerous time for the UK’s older people. National Energy Action (NEA) estimates that there are 7 million households living in fuel poverty, and around half of those include somebody over 60, and as fuel prices continue to rise many more will suffer. Many are faced with the stark choice: fuel or food. The cold weather brings a host of health issues such as bronchitis and circulation problems. Last year, the Office for National Statistics estimated that 30,000 more people in England and Wales died in the winter months, an increase of 29% on previous years.
Surviving Winter is about matching those vulnerable older people in need over the winter with those who can help, on a local level. In 2011, the Surviving Winter campaign helped over 20,000 older people survive the colder months and raised £2.5million. We want to help even more this year. Last year in Staffordshire alone we awarded more than £40,000 through the Surviving Winter campaign to help our conty’s vulnerable residents stay warm and well.
The Staffordshire Community Foundation is part of the Surviving Winter Appeal launched across the UK to help thousands of vulnerable and older people affected by fuel poverty and will run from November 20143 through until March 2015.
With rising fuel bills and the prospect of another cold winter, older and vulnerable people are at risk.
Nearly half a million households in Staffordshire, (just under a quarter), are living in fuel poverty. Almost half of those living in fuel poverty are aged over 60. Excess winter deaths, (those that are caused directly by cold, or where cold is a contributing factor), amounted to nearly 700 as an average of the last 3 years.*
Community Foundations all over the UK are co-ordinating the campaign. What they collect, thanks to the generosity of the British public, can then be directly targeted to help those locally who struggle to get through the winter.
The Surviving Winter Appeal run by Staffordshire Community Foundation will channel all the funds raised to provide support to older and vulnerable people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. The money will be directed to those most in need of help and make sure they can afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile, as well as help them in practical ways such as ensuring the can make doctor’s appointments, get to the shops and maintain an active social life.
The Surviving Winter appeal is being supported by Turn2us, a free service which helps people in financial hardship to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.
Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us said: “Turn2us is pleased to support this much-needed appeal. We hear daily from people who are struggling to pay their energy bills and the devastating impact this has on their lives. We have found that two-fifths of people affected by fuel poverty have been forced to cut back on food or skip meals and over two-thirds have experienced stress.
“We urge anyone who is worried about their situation to visit www.turn2us.org.uk where they can check what welfare benefits and charitable grants they may be eligible for and find further sources of help.”
UKCF also supports the Energy Bill Revolution campaign for a permanent solution to end the fuel poverty crisis. The Energy Bill Revolution is an alliance of 200 national charities, health groups, unions and businesses calling for home energy efficiency to be made a national infrastructure priority. They want all political parties to make a pledge to provide grants to make 2 million low income household highly energy efficient by 2020 (Band C on an Energy Performance Certificate) and all 6 million low income households treated to this standard by 2025.
We want to keep Staffordshire’s communties fit and well and ensure that no one is at a disadvantage over winter, but for it to be a success we need your help! Please consider donating your unneeded winter fuel payments, or whatever you can, to help us to keep our vulnerable and older people well over winter.
Anyone can donate, whether you are a business, a local dignitary or an individual.
Donations can be made online or by sending a cheque made payable to Staffordshire Community Foundation and stating on the back of the cheque ‘Surviving Winter’. You will be contacted shortly afterwards to confirm your donation. Please send to;Surviving Winter
Staffordshire Community Foundation
BL157, Staffordshire University Blackheath Lane Stafford ST18 0AD