The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is tackling fuel poverty through the Surviving Winter Campaign, to help older and vulnerable people keep warm at winter time.
The campaign is asking those in receipt of the annual Government Winter Fuel Payment to donate their payment if they are able to do so, to help those less fortunate in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Local families, individuals and businesses wishing to lend their support to the campaign can also make a donation online via: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/SurvWinter
With bitterly cold weather forecast for much of the country this weekend, many of us are able to boost up our heating to keep warm, but many older residents in our communities need extra support. People living within limited financial means may not be able to afford to top up their electricity meter or switch on their cooker to heat food, as choosing to keep warm may mean using finances needed for groceries or using funds that they simply just don’t have.
Surviving Winter grants are distributed through HIWCF’s key partners Citizens Advice Hampshire and The Footprint Trust Isle of Wight, helping vulnerable people to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile during the coldest months, including practical assistance to travel to medical appointments or assistance with shopping for essentials.
Rebecca Kennelly MBE, HIWCF Chair of Trustees commented: “The Surviving Winter Campaign relies on generous donations from the public, where we ask residents in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to either recycle their Government Winter Fuel Payment if they are able to, or to make a much needed donation to support the campaign. Last winter the campaign raised almost £16,000 from donors who felt inspired to help older people living in fuel poverty in our local communities and these donations make a real difference to people’s lives. This winter, with Covid-19 requiring people to isolate or shield at home to stay safe, it is more important than ever that we help those who are struggling financially to keep warm.”
Government figures show that 1,682 more people died across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight during the coldest months, and National Energy Action report that about 30% of excess winter deaths were likely to be attributable to the impact of cold homes on people with respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
HIWCF can also accept donations via cheque, please post to: The Chief Executive, Surviving Winter Campaign, HIWCF, Dame Mary Fagan House, Lutyens Close, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8AG, (payable to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation). Taxpayers forwarding a cheque may also wish to add to the value of their donation by returning a Gift Aid Form, available on: www.hiwcf.com/donation/surviving-winter/
To apply for a Surviving Winter grant and for more information about the grants, please visit Citizens Advice Hampshire’s website on www.citahants.org. Residents on the Isle of Wight may contact The Footprint Trust by email on firstname.lastname@example.org