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Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation Launches Surviving Winter campaign

Today (Monday 21st November) Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation is launching its annual Surviving Winter appeal, which supports Charity Link and Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland.

The Surviving Winter campaign started in 2010 as a way to pass on Winter Fuel Payments from people who felt they didn’t need them, to others who were vulnerable in the local community. The campaign is now in its 7th year and has successfully raised £5.5 million and helped over 80,000 people across the UK – which has the highest rates of fuel poverty and excess winter deaths in Europe.

You can easily donate to the fund via the online Justgiving donation page 

Details from Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation’s launch press release:

The East Midlands itself has on average the highest rate of excess winter deaths of all English regions, and in Leicestershire some 31,000 households are currently struggling to afford to heat their homes to the level needed to stay warm and healthy. Nationally 1 million people aged over 65 have had to cut back on food bills over recent years to cover the rising cost of utility bills, whereas the link between ill health and prolonged exposure to low temperatures is well-documented.

This year’s campaign will support Charity Link and Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland in their work to protect those who are most vulnerable from the effects of the winter months across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The Community Foundation is also pleased to be working with The High Sheriff of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness, who is leading the campaign in Rutland.

The charities involved work with those in crisis, often due to loss of jobs, illness or gaps in funds between support from other agencies, as well as helping to find longer term solutions. They provide food parcels, hot water bottles, help with heating bills, leaks or even boiler repairs.

Last year’s campaign helped Julia, who was recovering from breast cancer and suffers from neuralgia and depression. She is in considerable pain which impacts on every aspect of her daily life. Due to her numerous health conditions she was unable to work and reliant on Employment & Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (low rate component). Julia is actively seeking support to help manage her limited income but in the meantime she was unable to pay for her gas and electricity – due to her health conditions it is crucial that she stays warm. Charity Link helped immediately and accessed the Surviving Winter fund to help Julia and provided support for her gas and electricity costs.

The Community Foundation is asking people to consider donating whatever they can spare this winter, with suggestions including the amount equivalent to a monthly fuel bill or a basket of groceries.

Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow said:

“Many people in the UK, both the elderly and families, really struggle in cold weather. The Surviving Winter appeal is a small but important step towards helping them. If you do not want or need your own fuel allowance, or are able to give something to those in our local community who face genuine difficulties staying warm and well this winter, please consider this worthwhile appeal. The Community Foundation works with Charity Link and Age UK to make sure that the money you give so generously provides extra fuel, blankets, food, help and visits during the coldest months of the year.”

If you would like to support this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, your donations will be gratefully received.  For more information visit the LLRCF page or call 0116 262 4916.