Winter Warmth Appeal Launched

THE Bishop of Carlisle launched the Winter Warmth Fund Appeal in Keswick on Tuesday 30 October 2012 at Greta Hall, Keswick.

Now in its third year, the Winter Warmth Fund stops older people dying because of the cold and reduces both fuel poverty and the number of people in Cumbria living in cold homes.

It does this by asking for donations from the community. This money is then given to those in extreme need. Some of the donations come from older people who get the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment, but feel they don’t need it as much as others.

A group of school children helped the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, launch the appeal by re-creating the Winter Warmth Fund logo out of building bricks and a woolly hat!

In fact, school children across the county are busy building and knitting to raise awareness of the Winter Warmth Fund and also to be in with a chance of claiming £200 worth of Derwent Pencils for their school. The pencil company has kindly given six prizes – one for each council district – for the school that comes up with the best recreation of the Winter Warmth Fund logo.

Hopefully, they will get some creative inspiration from Greta Hall; the historic house is well known as the home of some of England’s finest writers and it is where Robert Southey wrote the story of ‘The Three Bears’ in 1837. The original version of the story has an old lady going to the home of three bears – sleeping in their beds and eating their porridge.

Bishop James said: “I was touched by the stories of some of the many hundreds of people who were helped by last year’s Winter Warmth Appeal.  Their bodies were warmed by other people’s generosity and so was my heart.  I do hope that this year’s appeal will be equally successful.”

David Sharrock, Director and General Manager of Cumberland Pencil Company, said: “We are delighted to support Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund by donating prizes for the schools competition. Raising awareness of the needs of the elderly during our cold Cumbrian winters will hopefully encourage more fundraising to help towards their ever-increasing fuel bills.”   Andy Beeforth, Director of Cumbria Community Foundation, explains the difference the Winter Warmth Fund has made: “In the first year we raised and distributed a pot of £10,000. Last year our donations quadrupled, bringing in £42,000 which directly helped 433 pensioners in need. We’re hoping people will be generous so we can help even more older people this winter.”

The Winter Warmth Fund is supported by a number of leading Cumbrians including:

Melvyn Bragg, who said: “I am supporting Cumbria Community Foundation’s life-saving Winter Warmth Fund because this is a first rate campaign.  Straight to the target. Useful, urgent, no messing about.”

Sir Chris Bonington, added: “Please support the Winter Warmth Fund if you can because sadly some people this winter will have to make the choice between eating and heating.”

For more information on how to give and how to apply click here.