Surviving Winter appeal reaches £1,000,000 milestone for local pensioners

By Laura Linham

28th Jan 2023 | Local News

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is pleased to announce that their 2022/23 Surviving Winter appeal has raised an incredible £150,000 so far, thanks to the generosity of local donors – which pushes total donations to over £1,000,000 since Surviving Winter was first launched in 2010.

The annual appeal encourages pensioners to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment, if they don't need it themselves. These donations provide funding and support to older people across Somerset who are struggling to heat their homes – or living in fuel poverty.

The SCF team and their charity partners have been busy distributing Surviving Winter grants of up to £500 across the county and have already supported over 300 people in need since November, helping to keep them warm, safe and well.

SCF's Philanthropy Director, Laura Blake, thanked local people for rallying behind the appeal this year: "We've been humbled by the amount of support we've received for the Surviving Winter appeal – particularly this year, in light of the difficult times many people are experiencing due to the cost-of-living crisis. The demand for Surviving Winter grants is huge this year with over 50% of low-income pensioners living in fuel poverty, and we need all the help we can to reach as many of those in need as possible.

"We're hugely grateful and I wanted to say thank you to each and every person who has donated since the Surviving Winter appeal was first launched back in 2010. Many of our supporters donate every single year, and take great pride in passing on their Winter Fuel Payment to a neighbour in need. Without your generous support, thousands of older people in Somerset would have suffered in silence over the years, by not turning on their heating or cutting back on food to save money during the cold winter months."

To donate some or all of your Winter Fuel Payment, or to make a donation of any size to the Surviving Winter appeal, please visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter to donate online or call 01749 344949 to donate over the phone. To send a cheque, please make it payable to Somerset Community Foundation (and write SW on the reverse), Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN. Donation and Gift Aid forms are available to download on the SCF website.

The costs of running the Surviving Winter appeal are met entirely from Gift Aid contributions, so donors can be confident that their donation will reach those who need it the most.

Surviving Winter began in 2010 in Somerset. They were contacted by a donor who offered to give his Winter Fuel Payment to help local pensioners struggling with the cost of staying warm and healthy. He wanted his donation to pay for the everyday essentials that most of us take for granted, such as heating, warm clothing and food. From this simple idea Surviving Winter has spread across the country, raising millions nationally. The costs of running the Surviving Winter appeal are met entirely from Gift Aid contributions, so donors can be confident that their donation will reach those who need it the most.

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