Winter Warmth Appeal Raises over £100K

28th May 2014

Cumbria Community Foundation today celebrated raising more than £105,000 with its Winter Warmth Appeal.

The money was given to older people in Cumbria who struggle to keep warm in the winter.

£100K Celebration More than seven hundred grants were distributed which means more than 1,000 people benefitted from the warm generosity of others.

The Winter Warmth Appeal, now in its fourth year, has seen the money raised rise tenfold from £10,000 in 2010, to £105,000 this year.

A quarter of this year’s total came in through one ‘fun’ fundraising idea, ‘The Big Sleep’ saw 167 people sleeping in a field behind the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere attracting £23,000 in one night in February.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Our trustees set a challenging target for us to raise £100,000 to keep older people warm and safe in the winter. I am blown away by the warm generosity of the people in this county in their support of this appeal and I am very proud that we exceeded the Trustees expectations.  I am grateful to the Low Wood Hotel and the Berry family for their support and to the Age UK offices around the county and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Barrow who have helped direct the funds to older people in need.”

Cake 1Cumbria Community Foundation will celebrate the success of the Winter Warmth Appeal by sharing a cake with a group of older people at an exercise class organised by Age UK South Lakeland.

The celebration will be at 11.45am on Wednesday, 28 May, at 11.45am, at Holme Parish Hall, Holme, near Kendal.

Sonia Mangan, Director of Age UK South Lakeland, said: “Every day Age UKs across the county work with older people with a range of complex problems and situations. We know that more and more people are struggling financially and these grants have enabled us to work with people on a very practical solution – offering a small grant towards the cost of heating when it is most needed. Successful appeals like this one really do change lives and we would like to add our thanks to all those people who worked hard to make it happen.”

Cllr Ben Berry, whose family kindly hosted The Big Sleep in February, said: “The Winter Warmth Fund is all about helping our neighbours when they need us most. With The Big Sleep we’ve made it easy for anyone, young, old, fit or able to raise money for this vital local charitable cause and I’m very proud to be involved with that.”

Here is a link to a video which features a couple of people who have benefitted from a Winter Warmth Grant this year and tells the story through a short film:

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart has helped raise awareness of the appeal by sleeping out in the Pennines in one of the highest and coldest places in Cumbria in January, he said:

“Cumbria has some of the highest instances of fuel poverty in the country. Our traditionally built homes are difficult to heat and frequently off the mains gas grid, which make heating them very expensive. When your income is fixed, as is the case for many retired, elderly people, rises in energy bills can quickly become unaffordable, and the only choice left in the worst cases is to endure a cold home. It is completely unacceptable that an average of 300 people in Cumbria alone will die from the cold this Winter. The Cumbria Community Foundation plays a hugely important role in helping vulnerable older people meet the costs of heating their home. I was only too happy to do anything I could to help raise awareness of the Winter Warmth Appeal and the foundation’s fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Click here to view the ITV Border news piece where Pam Royle spoke to Chief Executive Andy Beeforth and asked him why he thinks the campaign has been so successful.