With an unprecedented energy crisis, fuel poverty poses a serious threat to Cambridgeshire households, with support needed more than ever for the most severely affected members of our community. We have launched this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal to raise £25,000 to support vulnerable households facing fuel poverty this winter.
As the energy crisis has taken hold of the nation, the threat is ever more significant with increasing energy bills. Despite the welcomed government interventions, the poorest households will still struggle to afford their energy bills this winter, pushing them into fuel poverty. People face falling into debt, cutting back on other essentials and using extreme rationing strategies, such as only heating one room, wearing coats indoors and using public spaces to stay warm. Too many people may face a desperate choice between eating or heating.
A cold home means a bigger threat of cold-related death or illness, with approximately 35,000 excess winter deaths each year in England and Wales. With a rise in fuel poverty this year, this number is likely to increase. Hundreds of vulnerable people in Cambridgeshire may die this winter due to being cold.
The funds raised by the Surviving Winter Appeal will be distributed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s nominated charitable partner organisations: Cambridge Aid, Citizens Advice Cambridge, Citizens Advice Peterborough, Citizens Advice Rural Cambs, Cambridge City Foodbank and CHS Group. Households who need help to stay warm and have access to energy this winter can apply to these partner organisations, which will make payments or purchases relating to energy and heating, such as topping up pre-payment meters. Without the support, people may face no warmth in their radiators to keep the house warm and no heat on the hob to cook a meal.
Citizens Advice Peterborough are proud to be supporting the Surviving Winter Appeal yet again this year. Keith Jones, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice Peterborough, said, “We have seen an increased demand for help from local residents of over 30% due to the cost-of-living crisis and the difficulty families are facing to buy food and heat their homes so any help we can give to support people at this challenging time are greatly appreciated.”
Michael O’Toole, Chief Executive at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, added, “Everyone in our county deserves to have a decent standard of living this winter and beyond. Our local partner charities are crucial in delivering support to those struggling in the face of fuel poverty this winter. At Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, we know vulnerable people including families with young children and isolated older people will see fuel prices rocket this winter. Devastatingly, this leads to people having to choose whether to heat their homes or cook a hot meal. We are pleading with those who can, please give generously to our Surviving Winter Appeal so we can make sure the funds reach people in need this winter.”
Cambridgeshire Community Foundation would be grateful for donations from those who are able to support the more vulnerable members of our community. This October, UK households receiving the energy rebate are encouraged to donate the equivalent or a part-equivalent of the rebate, if they are not struggling to afford energy bills.
Stephen Catling, Chair of Trustees at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is one of the appeal’s supporters, commenting, “I have decided to donate my energy rebate to the Surviving Winter Appeal. I feel fortunate enough to be able to afford my energy bills this year, so I would like to support the vulnerable Cambridgeshire households that will struggle to afford a warm home this winter. It is shocking that, in the 21st century, people still face living in freezing homes”.
Please consider giving the gift of a warm home to another Cambridgeshire household.