Surviving Winter Appeal
Give the gift of warmth to a home facing fuel poverty this winter
Why is support needed for households facing fuel poverty?
As the cost-of-living crisis continues and many energy support schemes offered last winter will no longer be offered this year, prices will be equally, if not more, challenging than last year. National Energy Action has found that about one third of households believe that they will struggle to heat their homes this winter.
Support is needed more than ever, with those who had previously been ‘just about managing’ now being pushed to the brink. Cambridge Aid is currently helping 25% more people this year, compared to 2022, and Cambridge City Foodbank is experiencing a 40% increase in need for fuel vouchers compared to the same period last year.
Those affected by fuel poverty cope as best as they can. People cut back on other essentials, such as food, or they ration energy use by heating only one room. Many people will also take respite in other warm places. However, with high energy costs and other living expenses, low incomes and energy-inefficient homes, these measures only go so far and should not be what anyone should need to resort to.
People in fuel poverty face serious health risks from living in cold homes, with cold-related deaths representing the biggest weather-related source of mortality in the country.
Among the worst affected will be the most vulnerable, including children. Living in fuel poverty can have a detrimental impact on children’s health, well-being and their ability to learn. Children growing up in cold, damp, and mouldy homes with inadequate ventilation have above average rates of respiratory infections and asthma, chronic ill health, and disability. They are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and slower physical growth and cognitive development.
People who are already struggling with poor health may also find themselves facing difficulties to stay warm in the winter. Last year, the Surviving Winter Appeal supported a terminally ill woman in her early 60’s who was undergoing treatment and felt very unwell. Despite receiving Universal Credit and PIP payments, she was still struggling to pay her bills to keep her house warm. Due to the seriousness of her medical condition, it was important for her to stay warm, so the appeal offered vital support in her time of need.
How does the Surviving Winter Appeal help?
The funds raised by the Surviving Winter Appeal are being distributed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s nominated charitable partner organisations:
- Cambridge Aid
- Citizens Advice Cambridge
- Citizens Advice Peterborough
- Citizens Advice Rural Cambs
- Cambridge City Food Bank
- CHS group
Households who need help to stay warm and have access to energy throughout the winter can apply to these partner organisations, which use the funds raised to make payments or purchases relating to energy and heating, such as topping up pre-payment meters. Without the support, some people face no warmth in their radiators to keep the house warm and no heat on the hob to cook a meal.
How you can help
We are appealing to those who are in a position to help to please donate to the Surviving Winter Appeal to help local families and individuals facing a winter in fuel poverty. If you are receiving support that you do not need, such as a Winter Fuel Payment which is non-means-tested, we encourage you to please donate the equivalent or part equivalent to help those who will struggle to afford a warm home.
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