Mrs P from Frome suffers from a painful and debilitating condition that reduces circulation to her hands and feet during cold weather and periods of stress. It means she needs to keep her heating on longer and at a warmer temperature than usual, so consequently her winter bills are high. Three solid external walls make her end-of-terrace home extremely hard to keep warm.
Last year, Mrs P was relieved to receive a Surviving Winter grant from funds donated to Somerset Community Foundation’s appeal and distributed via the local Rotary Club to a number of elderly residents in the Frome area.
“When I received help last year I could not believe it. It was like Christmas came twice!”
Rising fuel costs together with a reduction this year in the annual Winter Fuel Payment (from £400 to £300) are putting even more pressure on people like Mrs P, making it harder than ever to meet the cost of winter.
“This year there will be more people than ever in Somerset unable to meet the cost of staying warm. The rises in the cost of electricity and gas have inevitably put more pressure on household budgets and for the most vulnerable amongst us it will mean a difficult choice between heating and eating. Local charities and community organisations are very well placed to reach those who need extra help. Our job at the Foundation is to coordinate the Surviving Winter appeal, connecting those who can afford to make a donation with those most in need.”
Justin Sargent, Chief Executive of Somerset Community Foundation