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Winter Warmth Fund 2014

Cumbria Community Foundation is today launching its fifth annual Winter Warmth Appeal, a fund set up to raise money for elderly people throughout Cumbria who struggle to afford to keep warm because of the increasing cost of fuel.

Every year an average of 300 people die in Cumbria due to the effects of the cold weather, a fatality rate higher than most other areas of the UK and the elderly are among the most at risk, but £10,000 has already been raised to help Cumbria’s older people keep their homes warm.

Last year the Winter Warmth Fund raised £105,000 and more than 1,000 people benefited from the warm generosity of others. This year the charity hopes to raise even more money to help more of Cumbria’s most vulnerable.

Ellen Williamson 3 Ellen is 74 and from Keswick, last year she received a grant from the Winter Warmth Appeal and her story really touched us here at the foundation:

“I realised how cold it got when I stayed up through the night looking after my husband before he died. There must be loads of people in that position. I decided I should do something to help keep myself warm and so I crocheted a blanket to put on my knees or round my shoulders. Then I made one for my neighbour and it kept her warm, so I have kept going. I’ve now made 16 blankets. I buy one ball of wool at a time – there’s a shop in Penrith which sells it cheap. It gives me great pleasure when I finish a whole blanket, I look at it and think ‘that’s someone else who is going to be warm.’ People have helped me, so I do what I can to help others. The Winter Warmth Grant made a big difference, I was able to leave the heating on for longer.”

Cumbria Community Foundation is working with Age UK and The Oaklea Trust to award the grants to elderly people in the county who need the money to stay safe and healthy.

Christina Timney from Age UK West Cumbria said: “Age UK and Cumbria Community Foundation work in partnership to promote health and wellbeing to the elderly in our community. We want to empower them with knowledge and financial assistance to maximize income and minimize expenditure to ensure a greater standard of living and the Winter Warmth Fund allows us to do this.”

Ellen Williamson and Andy 1Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation says: “In five years the Winter Warmth Appeal has helped thousands of people.  We understand that fuel poverty is a serious issue, especially in Cumbria, so this appeal helps keep older people in our county warm and safe in the winter. The people we help tell us the money they receive from the fund literally helped them survive.”

It’s very simple to donate to the Winter Warmth Appeal: Just phone Cumbria Community Foundation on 01900 825760 or visit our JustGiving page.

You can also simply send a text message to 70070 including our code WINT37. You can donate £2, £5 or £10. e.g. WINT37 £5 to 70070.

Or you can send a cheque to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back. Send it to: Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.

After the success of last year, Cumbria Community Foundation will also be running The Big Sleep 2015, a fundraising event challenging people to sleep out under the stars and feel the cold. The event will take place Saturday February 7, 2015 at The Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere. Why not sign up now?

West Cumbria Community Heroes Awards 2014

Hero Sellafield LogoThis year we are sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year award, as part of the 2014 West Cumbria Community Heroes Awards in association with Sellafield.

The award seeks to recognise people who have gone out of the way to help others. We are proud to sponsor this award because it stands for many of the same principles as the Neighbourhood Care Independence (NCI) Programme.

To nominate someone for Neighbour of the Year 2015 visit:

Times and Star Heroes

Whitehaven News Heroes

All entries must be received by 26th October 2014. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner at Whitehaven Golf Club on Thursday 27th November.