Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation’s annual Surviving Winter appeal for 2016 to 17 has now closed, having successfully raised over £8,000 for the most vulnerable in our local communities, with a trickle of last minute donations still coming in. With harsh weather conditions still being felt in parts of the UK, the money raised will continue to be distributed by our partners Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland and Charity Link to help those in need of food, warmth and other support during cold or inclement weather.
The charities 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, hot water bottles, help with heating bills, leaks or even boiler repairs. This support is traditionally in greatest demand during the winter months, due to the extra health and wellbeing challenges that cold weather presents.
The Surviving Winter campaign has its origins in 2010, when it was devised 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 marking the end of its 7th year, at the start of which over £5.5 million had been raised and more than 80,000 people supported across the UK – which has the highest rates of fuel poverty and excess winter deaths in Europe.
Executive Director of Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland said: “The money received is much appreciated and will greatly benefit vulnerable older people living in the city and county during this winter.”
In Rutland, the campaign was headed by High Sheriff Sarah Furness who said “The poor in Rutland have a really hard time. It is too easy to forget they exist as Rutland is perceived as affluent. In Rutland there are higher basic costs of housing, fuel, council tax and travel. Fuel poverty is particularly prevalent in rural areas where traditional houses are often not insulated and mains gas (the cheapest form of fuel) is not widely available. They poor are spread out in rural areas so are harder to target. In Rutland the poor live alongside affluence which makes poverty more painful. It also means there can be rural pride preventing people asking for help. This campaign works discretely and uses local knowledge to target help where it is needed.”
The Community Foundation and its partner charities would like to thank everyone who has kindly donated to the campaign this year. If you’re interested in helping the work of the many local charities supporting the local community, please contact the Community Foundation on 0116 242 4604 to find out how you could get involved.