Less than two months since its launch, the Surviving Winter Appeal has raised £14,830, over 70% of its £20,000 target. Generous individuals and businesses have stepped in help the most vulnerable members of our community avoid spending the winter in cold homes.

We are working with partnering charities across the county to distribute the raised funds. They are making direct payments towards energy costs of people facing fuel poverty. This includes topping up prepayment meters, financing upcoming gas and electricity costs or paying for heating oil deliveries.

Your donations are making a difference

CHS Group, one of the appeal’s partner charities, has recently supported an individual with multiple disabilities, living alone in a 2-bedroom house. She lives in a small village in a very rural area, with no mains gas at all. Therefore, she uses storage heaters to keep warm, but her house is quite old and not energy efficient. She is economically inactive due to her disabilities, so she is at home all the time and receives Universal Credit. However, she is classed as an under occupier. Therefore, due to the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the housing element of her Universal Credit is reduced by 14%. She must make up for this shortfall herself. The Surviving Winter Appeal has helped to cover her high energy costs. It is imperative that she stays warm, as her mobility is otherwise severely affected.

Sue Reynolds from CHS Group commented:

“We have seen a huge demand for help with energy costs this winter. Energy prices have massively increased over the last year or so, and benefits and wages have not gone up sufficiently to compensate for this. For many people living on a low income, the choice really is ‘heating or eating’.

Those living in rural areas with no mains gas have been particularly affected, as they are reliant on electric storage heaters which are very expensive to run. Those on pre-payment meters are also really struggling and may end up ‘self-disconnecting’, as they don’t have enough money to top up.

We expect high demand to continue at least until the end of March, as this is the coldest time of the year.”

Continued support is needed for the cold months ahead

Despite the overwhelming response of the community to ensure warm homes in time for Christmas, the cold months ahead will continue to pose a challenge to local families and individuals.

We encourage anyone who is in a position to help, to please donate to support those who otherwise face cold homes for the remaining winter months.

We particularly appeal to people over the age of 66 who are receiving a non-means-tested Winter Fuel Payment, but do not need it, to consider donating the equivalent or part equivalent to the Surviving Winter Appeal.

Donate online to the Surviving Winter Appeal