5th February 2014
Over one hundred brave souls have signed up to spend a night sleeping beneath the stars to raise money for cold, older people this winter.
Cumbria Community Foundation has organised “The Big Sleep,” a mass sleep-out challenge in a field beside the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere for Saturday 15 February 2014.
The volunteers are being sponsored to take part and it’s hoped their fund-raising efforts will bring the total raised for the Winter Warmth Fund to £100,000. So far it stands at £62,000.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed is taking part, he said: “I am quite looking forward it, it’s a great initiative and there are few places better to do it than on the shore of Lake Windermere. It’s a great challenge and I’ll be taking my one man tent and enjoying watching The Goonies and getting cold for a good cause.”
Joining him will be Tom Foster, Executive Director Waste and Effluent Disposition, Sellafield, and his 22-year-old son Mick, a serving soldier with the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.
Tom said: “I recognise that we, the people working at Sellafield, have the comfort of heat and a roof over our heads. I want to do my small part and help raise awareness and money for people less fortunate during the winter months. The challenge will be a walk in the park for my son as he has been on a training exercise and has had to camp out for the past two weeks. I’m hoping he will use his knowledge and expertise to look after me!”
Several teams have also signed up to sleep out including: Cockermouth Round Table, Allerdale Borough Council, Cumbrian Newspaper Events, Bond Dickinson, Robinson and Co and David Allen.
Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, Andy Beeforth said: “We want to raise a total of £100,000 for older people facing the choice of heating they homes or eating a meal. We’ve already raised £62,000 for our Winter Warmth Appeal. So, this is a final call for anyone who thinks they can raise £100 in sponsorship to join me for The Big Sleep next week. 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 visit www.cumbriafoundation.org/bigsleep.
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.
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.
For more help or information, Tel: 01900 825 760 Fax: 01900 826527
What happens to the money
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. Please watch this video: http://vimeo.com/85198081
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.