2023 Surviving Winter Appeal Launches

As temperatures fall many of us reach for the dial on our central heating to turn it up a notch or two with barely a thought – but imagine being so afraid of your next heating bill you don’t even have the heating on in the first place.

That’s the reason we run our annual Surviving Winter appeal, to help those older and vulnerable people in fuel poverty who endure cold homes and risk their health because they can’t afford to heat their home.

Once again we are working with Age UK, Warm and Safe Wiltshire, Swindon and Wiltshire Citizens Advice and Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living to support those most at risk in our communities. Every penny raised through our appeal goes to our partners to support those in fuel poverty with energy vouchers for fuel bills, targeted advice on making their homes more energy efficient and assistance with applying for benefits and services they may never have known they were entitled to.

We know from talking to our partners that the people who come to them for help are often in desperate situations, the like of which no one should be facing in a civilised country in 2023.

Just one example from the many heartbreaking stories we hear is that of Mr P who is 82, has Parkinson’s and lives alone after recently being widowed. He was living on a low income and classed as being in fuel poverty. At the time he was extremely anxious about how he was going to cope. He was immediately awarded a Surviving Winter Grant, but the support didn’t end there.

Our partner organisation assessed his whole situation and identified that he was eligible for Attendance Allowance and helped with the application. He was also provided with information about a council tax discount and the priority services register and received a revised benefits check. Mr P who was overwhelmed with the support, said: “Thanks so much, I didn’t realise that all this help was available. It has made all the difference to me.”

This should be such a hopeful time of year but for many it only brings a sense of dread. Together we can prevent this. If you feel you are in a position to pass on some of your Winter Fuel Allowance, or just wish to donate, we will redirect it to where it is needed most.

Our Joint Chief Executive Fiona Oliver says: “The fuel grants our partners distribute help provide people with peace of mind that they can have the heating on, which we are told by experts in geriatric health is essential for older and vulnerable people.

“Also the extra support and advice our partners supply can increase a household’s income. We can help fix immediate problems but more importantly, we can leave people better equipped, safer and more hopeful for the future.

“This year everyone is under extra financial pressure but anything people can spare will be go to where it can make a real and lasting difference. We are so thankful for the support.”

You can donate online

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