8th January 2014
Older people across Cumbria have been keeping warm thanks to Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund.
The charity has raised £50,000 so far this winter but it needs more donations to help the growing number of pensioners in need.
Its Chief Executive is calling on brave Cumbrians to join him in a chilly outdoor challenge “The Big Sleep” on Saturday 15 February in a field near the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere.
Andy Beeforth said: “We’re halfway through our Winter Warmth Appeal and it’s great to see we’re halfway towards our target of raising £100,000 to keep older people warm this winter. But, we need to raise the rest. So, I’d like anyone who thinks they can raise £100 in sponsorship to join me for The Big Sleep next month. We’ve kindly been lent a field near the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere, we’ve sorted out a screening of The Goonies and we’re going to brave the elements to raise awareness of the problems older people face in the winter and raise the rest of the money.”
The Big Sleep is an outdoor adventure in aid of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal. The challenge is to sling on your pyjamas and snuggle down under the stars in front of a fabulous film.
If you could brace yourself to sleep in a field overlooking Lake Windermere, where temperatures may dip as low as minus 11 degrees celsius, and raise £100 – please enter now by visiting www.cumbriafoundation.org/bigsleep
The following people have already pledged to sleep out:
1. Paul Fletcher, Operations Manager at AMEC, West Cumbria.
2. Rob Rimmer, Director at Energy Road Campus, West Cumbria.
3. Simon Gall, Director of Lakeland Asbestos Management, Windermere.
4. Chris and Ian Tomlinson, Langdale Walking and Adventure Holidays, Windermere.
5. Peter Martin, Divisional Director of Brewin Dolphin, Penrith.
6. Diana Matthews, Cumbria’s High Sheriff, Windermere.
7. Martyn Nicholson, Managing Director of Russell Armer.
The reason the charity runs this annual appeal is simple – every winter around 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because of the effects of the cold weather. They have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal. The Winter Warmth Fund keeps older Cumbrians safe and warm.
Andy Beeforth added: “We can’t be complacent and hope the rest of the cash will come in. All the money allocated for South Lakeland has been spent and all other areas of the county will soon be in the same situation. I want us to keep saying yes to older people who ask for help. I don’t want them to be choosing between eating and heating this winter.”
One couple who have already benefited from the Winter Warmth Fund are Jean and Graham in Coniston. They’re both 67. Jean said: “Since Graham had his stroke two years ago, it is very important that he keeps warm because he really feels the cold now. I think the Winter Warmth Fund is wonderful. Our electricity and gas is such an expensive item and this extra money means I can buy extra wood for the woodburner. It’s really great that people donate. It’s very kind.”
How to donate
The Winter Warmth Fund is open to voluntary donations of Winter Fuel Payments, plus donations from other individuals and local businesses. You can donate to the Winter Warmth Fund in many ways:
Donate online at http://www.justgiving.com/winterwarmthfund.
Write a cheque payable to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back. Send it to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.
Use your mobile phone. Simply send a text message to 70070 including our code WINT37. You can donate £2, £5 or £10. e.g. WINT37 £5 to 70070.
All of the money raised will be used to provide support to elderly people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. It will be directed to those most in need through voluntary and community groups in Cumbria who are supporting vulnerable older people. It will help older people afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile. It will ensure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, help them to access grants to improve home insulation or replace old heating systems and show them how to shop around for the best fuel rate. It will also help provide information on how to stay healthy, like getting the flu jab and staying active. And where to get extra support in local communities, such as through lunch clubs and befriending schemes.