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Record response to campaign to keep Wiltshire's elderly warm

Record response to campaign to keep Wiltshire's elderly warm

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 7:15am 11th January 2020.

3 minute read

A charity scheme to help elderly, disabled and vulnerable people pay their fuel bills has now raised £82k

The Surviving Winter campaign aims to provide grants to those who might struggle to heat their homes.

Wiltshire Community Foundation collect in donations and hand out grants of £300 to those in need.

A large number of the donations come from people giving up their Government’s Winter Fuel Payment.


Stats show 400 people in Wiltshire die every year because they can't afford to heat their home.

The majority of people who suffer premature winter-related death are over 65 and 75% of these deaths are due to the impact the cold has on respiratory and circulatory conditions.

Gary Lawrence from the Wiltshire Community Foundation explains: 

"It doesn't mean they die of cold, but it does mean that the cold triggers other conditions they have. So if someone has a respiratory condition, or a circulatory condition, cold weather will accentuate that. The number of people going into hospital because of living in cold houses, and not eating properly, escalates over the winter."

Government figures in June 2019 showed that there were 30,000 households in Wiltshire living in fuel poverty.

That's almost one in ten homes across the county.

Heating Surviving Winter
The charity says some people in Wiltshire having to choose between heating and eating each winter


The charity is now in its tenth year of helping.

Surviving Winter Logo 2019 Wiltshire Community Foundation

Wiltshire Community Foundation chief executive Rosemary Macdonald said the campaign started up after being shocked by the number of deaths in winter:

"The figures showed there was an increase in deaths in rural areas and that because of that we felt we had to do something to address this growing crisis. The appalling thing for me is that so much of this deprivation is hidden.

"By working with our partners, we have been able to reach those most in need. I thank all of our supporters and partners for making a real difference to some very vulnerable people. It really does show that from good intentions and a small beginning, something wonderful can happen."

Last year's Surviving Winter raised £79,800, they've already smashed that this year reaching more than £82,000 and organisers have told Spire FM they would love to raise £90,000.

You can donate to the Surviving Winter campaign by visiting the charity's fundraising page. 

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