As the cold sets in appeal reaches £60,000 – but more people need help

29th January 2015

£60,000 has been donated Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal since it launched in October.

The money provides financial support to older people across Cumbria to help with their fuel bills over the winter months. However, all the available funds have been awarded and the number of people needing the grant is increasing.

The Met Office has issued a level 3 cold weather alert in the North West of England. Because of the warnings Public Health England is reminding people to look out for each other and to keep warm indoors.

Dr Angie Bone of the Extreme Events team at Public Health England said: “Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest. “Our advice is that when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.”

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation said: “There are a lot of older people in our communities that can’t sustain their energy bills in the winter. Often poor health means they need to stay warm more often, thus using more of their fuel quicker. The grants we give out give these people security and reassurance that they can afford to have their radiators on at night. But there are still a lot of people who need this support.”

Cumbria Community Foundation works with Age UK’s Carlisle and Eden, West Cumbria and South Lakeland as well as The Oaklea Trust to distribute the grants to people in their area.

Mrs Smith is a Winter Warmth Grant recipient, 71. In 2012 she was widowed and has struggled to pay full rent and council tax on her own. She said: “I spend the nights worrying about how I can pay the rent – so paying to put the boiler on is out of the question sometimes.” “My family help me, they know I struggle moving around as I get older but I like to be independent.”

“The grant was reassuring as I was able to have a nice warm house over Christmas and have a little less to worry about. It’s very reassuring to know there are people in the community helping older people financially.”

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.

All the money raised from Cumbria Community Foundation’s Big Sleep, taking place on Saturday 7th February at The Low Wood Bay Hotel, Windermere also goes toward the Winter Warmth Appeal.

Last year the event raised £23,000 for the cause and The Foundation hopes fundraisers will raise more this year. There are already over 120 people signed up to take part on the evening and through JustGiving alone have raised more than £3,500. To register to take part in The Big Sleep click here.  or call 01900 825760 for more information.