Somerset Community Foundation has launched this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, encouraging people to join the growing number of contributors who donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment each year to help local people living in fuel poverty.
Last year, over 400 older people in Somerset were helped to keep warm and better connected through the winter months, thanks to local donors and pensioners who gave to Surviving Winter.
When a person receives their Surviving Winter grant, it doesn’t just go towards paying the heating bill. It is also the first step towards connecting them to a local community partner; this can become the foundation for a new relationship that can help to overcome the isolation and loneliness many older people experience.
Last year, a Surviving Winter grant was made to an older lady in her 90s. She lived alone, and while her Surviving Winter grant form was being filled out for her, she talked to one of the Surviving Winter community partners about how her daughter had taken her own life and that she had no family left. Like many older people, she had no real assistance beyond a State Pension. The community partner was able to support her through an assessment for pension credit and attendance allowance, both of which were awarded to her later in the year, which helped alleviate the loneliness she was experiencing and made paying the bills easier. This would not have happened if Surviving Winter did not exist.
Help Somerset Community Foundation reach their target of raising £100,000 to help 500 isolated and vulnerable older people this year.
To donate to Surviving Winter, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter or call 01749 344949. Gift Aid forms are also available to download from the Somerset Community Foundation website or you can fill in the Surviving Winter Gift Aid Declaration Form (see below) when you send your cheque.
If you run a local community project and would like to find out more about grant funding, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk