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Surviving Winter campaign

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Surviving Winter campaign

The Herefordshire Community Foundation is launching its Surviving Winter campaign to help local people survive the coldest season. It is keen to help as many people -and the organisations they rely on in the winter – to survive this year.   According to Herefordshire Healthy Housing report in 2012 14% (one in seven) of households were considered fuel poor.   The UK has one of the highest increases in deaths amongst the elderly in Europe.  Each winter one older person dies every seven minutes from the cold.  The campaign originally began as a vehicle for generous pensioners to ‘recycle’ their Winter Fuel payments and has now developed into a giving portal for anyone who wants to help support vulnerable people live well during the winter.

The cost to the NHS in Herefordshire owing to cold homes is considerable..  Research from the national charity Age UK suggested that the cost of cold homes to the NHS in England and Wales is £1.36 billion a year.  The figure does not include the cost to other services which much be significant.  Considering this national figure, any activity to reduce fuel poverty and its associated effects in Herefordshire is likely to lead to consequential reductions in local health spend, GP referrals and hospital admissions.

Philippa Spens, CEO of the Community Foundation, said, “This fund is vital, community foundations are one of the few organisations that help with responsive, crisis payments, when people really have nowhere else to turn and are desperate for help.” 

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 nothing she went to the food bank for help and although they did 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 her 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. 

90 year old Norman benefited from a grant last year. He lives alone and has a serious heart condition. He said that the money he received from the Surviving Winter appeal ‘has taken a lot of worry from me. My electricity bills are so high as I feel the cold so much and have to keep the house warm. Your grant has helped me feel comfortable’.

Winter Fuel Allowance payments are made in November and December to all pensioners across the UK and is not means tested. If you don’t need yours you can donate it to the Community Foundation and they will help those less fortunate.  There isn't any way to simply divert the payment. Instead, the Foundation is asking for a donation of some or all of the benefit you receive. Even if you don’t qualify for the benefit you can send money. 

To donate online go to https://www.herefordshirecf.org/donate/#form or you can post a cheque made out to the Herefordshire Community Foundation, The Fred Bulmer Centre, Wall Street, Hereford HR4 9HP or ring 01432 272550.

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Two days ago Mrs Ubique and I received £10 each Christmas Payment via the Work and Pensions, paid into our Bank Account  . This  payment from the Govt should , in our mind be cancelled and the Savings should be put to better use ..........Approaved Homeless Charities etc. etc.

( We are giving our £20 to a Military Charity ) 

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