7th December 2016
AS NEW figures show a sharp increase in the number of excess winter deaths, a Cumbrian charity is asking for help to keep older people warm this winter.
Bad winters have seen as many as 300 excess winter deaths in the county, but this figure has leapt 50 per cent to 460 in the latest figures for the winter of 2014 /15.
Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation says it’s even more of a reason to join this year’s BIG SLEEP. He said: “The Big Sleep is being held on the shore of lake Windermere for the first and probably the only time. The refurbishment of the Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel has given us a unique opportunity to sleep beside the lake rather than on the hill behind the hotel. We’re grateful to the Berry family for the opportunity. On a serious note, I’m deeply saddened to see the most recent excess winter death figures rise to 460. That’s 460 older people in our county who have succumbed to the effects of the cold weather. All the money raised from The Big Sleep goes straight to older people who are trying to keep themselves warm in the winter. If you don’t fancy sleeping out and feeling just how cold minus six can be – then please sponsor one of our big sleepers, every penny helps.”
The Big Sleep raises money for the charity’s Winter Warmth Appeal. Since its launch the Big Sleep has raised £70,000 of the £500,000 raised in total.
Hardy souls taking part in this year’s Big Sleep will have a unique chance to sleep under the stars beside lake Windermere.
Hundreds of tent pitches are available for fundraisers who want to help keep older people warm this winter. All the money raised goes directly to keep older people warm in the cold winter months.
All you need to do is sign up, get sponsored and sleep out.
The Big Sleep is part of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal. It protects older people by giving them financial support to keep their homes warm as the temperatures fall.
In the winter of 2014/15, there were 460* excess deaths from the effects of the cold weather in Cumbria – the highest figure seen in many years.
The Big Sleep is being held on Saturday 28 January 2017. It costs £30 for adults and £5 for children – to enter visit: https://www.cumbriafoundation.org/bigsleep/. Entry fees cover a hot drink, an evening meal, activities during the day and evening and breakfast.
If you like the idea of sleeping out, but would rather choose your own spot – Big Sleepers at home can enter for £20.
The Big Sleep is aimed at increasing awareness of the issues older Cumbrians face during the cold winter months, and to fundraise for the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal.
In February 2016, the hundreds of Big Sleepers raised £21,000 in one night after sleeping in the cold. The charity is aiming for another successful event this year.
If you really can’t spend a night in the cold, you can still donate towards the Winter Warmth Appeal; phone Cumbria Community Foundation on 01900 825760 or visit
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.