Surviving Winter is a campaign that raises money to help older and vulnerable people stay warm and well. Winter is a dangerous time for the UK's most vulnerable people; it is estimated that over 4 million households live in fuel poverty across the UK and as fuel prices continue to rise, more vulnerable people suffer. Last year there was around 31,100 excess winter deaths in those aged 65 or over in England and Wales, a 29% increase on 2011-12.
“The Surviving Winter campaign is a vital initiative, which I am delighted to support. As energy bills reach record levels this winter, helping those who are vulnerable at this time of year is more important than ever. Encouraging those who feel able to donate some or all their Winter Fuel Payments, or people to donate whatever they can to those who are struggling to heat their homes, will help more people keep warm and stay well through the coldest winter months.I do hope that we will not see a rise in the number of 'excess winter deaths' among older people this year and anything we can do to help will be so important.” Dr Ros Altmann, campaigner for older people's issues
Click here for a list of participating community foundations
UK Community Foundations and our membership of community foundations will continue to run Surviving Winter , now in its third year, to help support vulnerable and older people stay warm. Since November 2011, we have successfully raised over £3.3 million and helped over 40,000 people survive winter. Donations are used in a number of ways, including providing warmth packs and blankets, boiler repairs, funding Meals on Wheels and lunch clubs, helping people pay their energy bills and better insulate their homes.
The campaign 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 survive the winter. Community foundations have excellent local reach and will distribute your donation straight to someone in need. Read two examples below of the work your donations have achieved in the past:
Judy, 60, has Multiple Sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair for 34 years. She found herself homeless when her privately rented bungalow was deemed unfit to live in. The money from Cumbria Community Foundation bought her a month's worth of coal.
John, 63, has not been able to work for the last 12 years. He suffers from rheumatoid, arthritis, asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure. Takes 34 different tablets a day. He and his wife received grant towards fuel bill – meant they had more money for food.