Fighting fuel poverty
Each winter, one older person dies from the cold every seven minutes.
The UK has one of the highest increases in winter-related deaths among the elderly in Europe. It’s with the help of Community Foundations up and down the country that pensioners and those in need are being helped by the Surviving Winter campaign.
Last year, 59 year old Jane had recently separated from her husband after 30 years of marriage. Jane wasn’t used to supporting herself independently and fell on hard times. She had no money for food or bills.
Jane eventually managed to find a job as a receptionist but had to wait a few weeks before being paid and was at rock bottom. Because she was earning an income, she went to the food bank for help. Although they were able to help a few times, there was a limit to the number of times she was entitled to food from there. She’s also diabetic, and without food, she was struggling to manage the condition.
She approached the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation and they assisted immediately by providing her with food vouchers and money for her electricity bill. This helped tide her over until her first pay check.
The Surviving Winter campaign aims to support vulnerable and elderly people over the winter months. Donations are used to provide things like blankets and food parcels, as well as fund lunch clubs and homeless shelters.
With the help of Surviving Winter, people like Jane don’t have to make a choice between heating or eating – a decision facing thousands of people living in fuel poverty. To make a donation, visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/survivingwinter.