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Surviving Winter campaign launched to support county's elderly

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) has launched this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, which encourages people who can afford it to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment to help local people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.

As we head into winter, many of us face an expensive – but essential – bill for heating our homes, while hundreds of our older neighbours in Somerset are forced to choose between heating and eating. The Coronavirus outbreak means that, for many older and vulnerable people, this winter will be even more difficult and worrying. Many will need to stay at home to keep themselves safe, and will find themselves cut off from family and friends, facing higher costs to heat their homes.

A shocking 10% of households in Somerset live in fuel poverty. Thanks to the bright idea of one generous pensioner, hundreds of older people in Somerset are being supported to stay warm, safe and well every winter through Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign.

Surviving Winter encourages people who don’t need their Winter Fuel Payment to donate some or all of it to help local older people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.

Every year Surviving Winter helps around 500 elderly people living in Somerset through the cold winter months, thanks to generous local donors who, last year, donated an incredible £135,000 to the appeal.

SCF hopes to build on the fantastic support they received last year to help even more older people in the county this winter. Thanks to support from a generous funder and The Big Give, online donations to the campaign that are made during the week-long Big Give Christmas Challenge – midday Tuesday, December 1, to midday Tuesday, December 8 – will be doubled! So, not only will your donation be worth twice as much, but SCF will also be able to help even more older and isolated people across Somerset feel warm, safe and well this winter.

SCF is also delighted to announce that Glastonbury Festival organiser and long-time Surviving Winter supporter Michael Eavis CBE has endorsed the campaign for another year.

Of this year’s Surviving Winter appeal, Michael said: “I know many people will have had a tough year, and we face some challenging months ahead, so it’s very good to know there are people like Somerset Community Foundation who locate the needs of people and can award Surviving Winter grants to fulfil these needs.”

If you would like to donate to Surviving Winter, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter or call 01749 344949. 

Further information on how to apply for a Surviving Winter grant will be published shortly on Somerset Community Foundation’s website. Please check: www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter for updates.

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