Surviving Winter campaign raises £500,000 in a decade

Surviving Winter campaign raises £500,000 in a decade

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 7:00am 4th January 2020.

3 minute read

All that money coming in to the Wiltshire Community Foundation is given out as grants to vulnerable people.

Those grants go towards heating homes across Wiltshire and keeping households warm and healthy.

The scheme launched back in 2009 and is running for its 10th winter at the moment.

Surviving Winter Logo 2019 Wiltshire Community Foundation
The campaign is one of the biggest for the Wiltshire Community Foundation each year


  • Wiltshire Community Foundation has distributed £513,952 since starting it launched 10 years ago
  • 2,294 grants have been given out to a total of 1,547 households
  • £12,102 was distributed in the very first year
  • By 2018/19, that total had grown to £79,800
  • 30,000 households in Wiltshire are living in fuel poverty (according to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy - June 2019)
  • 400 people could die as a result of the cold across Wiltshire in a year
Heating Surviving Winter
The charity says people are having to choose between heating and eating in Wiltshire this winter


Wiltshire Community Foundation takes referrals from their partner organisations - Age UK Wiltshire and Warm and Safe Wiltshire.

They assess households to see if they're eligible for a grant of £300, which can be put towards winter fuel bills.

The charity's Gary Lawrence explains why they're so keen to help:

"We are there for the community, we are there to recognise needs. We saw the need 10 years ago and I think sometimes if you realise something can be done and are probably in a position to do it, then why not get on and do it."

Surviving Winter Wiltshire Community Foundation Generic (WCF)
Assessors have found older and vulnerable people resorting to heating only one room or not turning the temperature high enough to avoid high winter fuel bills

The charity set up the campaign as a way of helping people across Wiltshire to literally survive winter.

Gary Lawrence from the Wiltshire Community Foundation says the need is very much still there: 

"The frustrating thing is that we know there are so many more people out there that we could help. If I could make a direct appeal to anyone (reading) this, it's to please think about giving some money to help somebody else's just to be a little bit more bearable. This is the time of goodwill isn't it, so maybe just share a bit of joy for somebody."


Much of the money that comes into the Surviving Winter campaign each year comes from people who give up their Winter Fuel Payments from the Government.

The scheme's also open for public donations, with more details on the Wiltshire Community Foundation website.

There's also some support from Wiltshire businesses too: 

In previous years, Salisbury's All the Sevens taxis have also donated a portion of their takings to the campaign, and coffee shops have given a donation for every hot drink sold.

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