Winter fuel grants set to be boosted by nearly £10,000

Pauline Grice, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Community Foundation.
Pauline Grice, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Community Foundation.
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an appeal to help older people battle against the cold weather over the winter months is set to reach the £10,000 mark before Christmas.

The Surviving Winter Appeal launched just a month ago and has already raised £8,500 to support older people in the area who will struggle to heat their homes.

The generosity of Doncaster people has seen donations flood in to the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, which will work with partners to ensure every penny goes to an older person in need this winter.

The appeal was launched after it was revealed an estimated 17,000 over 65s in the borough cannot afford to heat their homes.

Pauline Grice, chief executive of SYCF, said: “Every year older people die due to the cold weather conditions. Figures show that nine older people died every hour last winter.

“For many the option to turn on the heating is taken for granted, but for some the winter is full of worry over bills and the fear that rising energy prices will force people into debt.

“The Surviving Winter Appeal will look to alleviate the burden for as many people as possible over the coming months, but obviously the more that is raised, the more people we can help.”

The campaign was originally inspired by individuals who wanted to donate their Winter Fuel Payment from the Government to support older and vulnerable people.

The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax free payment of between £100 and £300 made by the Government during November and December to people over the age of 60, to help them keep warm during the winter.

High profile names have also been quick to back the campaign, including Dame Helen Mirren, Sir David Jason and Yorkshire’s own Sir Michael Parkinson.

The South Yorkshire Community Foundation is this week making the first monies available to its partners who will hand out grants to individuals over the age of 60 who are most in need.

Gary Wilson, of Age UK Doncaster, said: “Age UK Doncaster is backing the SYCF Surviving Winter Appeal as a great way to raise vital funds to ensure the most vulnerable older people get the support they need. 

“As an independent charity working with and for older people for over 35 years, Age UK Doncaster is ideally placed to ensure that the money raised reaches those most in need.”

Donate via www.sycf.org.uk/survivingwinter or via post to Surviving Winter Appeal, South Yorkshire Community Foundation, 6 Leeds Road, Sheffield, S9 3TY making cheques payable to South Yorkshire Community Foundation.