Kent Community Foundation’s annual Surviving Winter campaign to support the elderly and vulnerable will be more pertinent this year with the growing concerns over fuel price increases.

Each year Kent Community Foundation launches its Surviving Winter Campaign to raise awareness of the number of avoidable winter deaths amongst the elderly and to ask those who receive a winter fuel payment and do not need it to donate it help those who do. This year with the announcement of the rise to the energy price cap, the team at Kent Community Foundation is even more worried that thousands of older people across the county may not turn on their heating this winter.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “The colder winter months are an extremely dangerous time for older people, especially those who live alone. This year we are very concerned that with the energy price cap increasing many older people across the county will be even more worried about their fuel bills and may not turn their heating on.

“As we approach the colder months, we need to stress how important it is for older people to use sufficient heating to keep warm and safe from the many illnesses linked with not keeping warm. It is not widely known that energy suppliers have support packages to ensure the elderly and vulnerable can heat their homes, so if you’re struggling to pay your bill, we would encourage you to get in touch with your energy supplier to access the help that’s available.

“If just 10% of everyone in the county, who receives the Winter Fuel Payment, were to donate £100 to the Surviving Winter Campaign, we would have a Fund of more than £3 million to help our vulnerable elderly neighbours across the county. Therefore, we are asking those who receive the payment, but don’t rely on it, to donate it to others. But you don’t have to be over 65 to give to this campaign, anyone who wants to give, even a small amount, will be making a significant difference to vulnerable, elderly people in the county and helping to reduce avoidable deaths.”

Money donated to the Surviving Winter Campaign will contribute to projects that support elderly and isolated people including lunch clubs and social events to help people stay in touch and keep active, workshops and advice, transport, befriending services, and schemes helping elderly residents with tasks including shopping or gardening.

Donations can be made online or by cheque to Kent Community Foundation.

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