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Sunday, 23 January 2022

Winter Warmth Appeal launches to support older people in Cumbria this winter

WITH the rise of fuel prices and the looming flu season, generous Cumbrians are being asked to help local vulnerable older people keep warm and well this winter.

To launch this year’s Winter Warmth Appeal, run by Cumbria Community Foundation, some of Cumbria’s most senior figures in business swapped a warm, comfortable bed for Honister Slate Mine to highlight the ongoing struggle many elderly Cumbrians face to keep warm every night. The annual appeal makes sure that older people who may have to choose between heating and eating, can stay warm and well throughout the colder months.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation spent a night shivering alongside David Beeby, the High Sheriff of Cumbria, Soo Redshaw, Business Coach and Charity Trustee, Sarah Dunning, Chair of Westmorland, Richard Rankin, Chief Executive, H&H Group plc and Mark Cant, Co-Founder and Sales Director, The Cumbrian Tea and Cumbrian Coffee Co Ltd.

Cumbria Community Foundation is the leading independent grant-making charity in the county and its annual Winter Warmth Appeal has raised more than £1.3 million since 2010 in a bid to protect some of the most vulnerable members of communities.

Mark Cant, Co-Founder and Sales Director, The Cumbrian Tea and Cumbrian Coffee Co Ltd said:

“Tonight I’m feeling a bit like a non-celebrity going into the jungle on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here with the Cumbrian business royalty, I’m honoured to have been invited to undertake such an important event with Cumbria Community Foundation for a very worthwhile cause. It is one of the hidden issues in this rural county which greatly affects the health and wellbeing of those who cannot heat their homes.”

One in ten households in Cumbria currently lives in fuel poverty, meaning that they spend more than 10 percent of their income on fuel. In most winters, 300 older Cumbrians die because of problems associated with not being able to heat their homes or eat properly. In worse winters, the figure has risen to 500.

David Beeby, the High Sheriff of Cumbria said:

“I am delighted to be a part of highlighting the need for the Winter Warmth Appeal. The origin of this appeal was a generous donor who wanted to redistribute his winter fuel payment to those in real need. Sadly this year the need will be greater than ever. Like him, there will be many of us who receive the payment and who are fortunate enough not to need it. If you are in that position why not donate it to the Winter Warmth Appeal and double the value.”

This year, any donation made between Monday 15th November and midday Monday 13th December will be doubled thanks to the Foundation’s generous match fund pledgers WCF Ltd, the John Laing Charitable Trust, Roselands Trust, the Johnson Fund, Brian and Ann Clark Fund, the Harvey Family Fund and a private donor.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said:

“Fuel poverty has always been an issue and each year, the Foundation steps up and raises funds for the most vulnerable in our communities who need help and support during the cold winter months.

“This year will see fuel prices increase and we will, unfortunately, see more people having to choose whether to heat their homes or cook a hot meal. When your income is fixed, as is the case for many retired, older people, rises in energy bills can quickly become unaffordable, and the only choice left in the worst cases is to endure a cold home.

“We are pleading with those who can, to give generously to our Winter Warmth Appeal so we can make sure the funds reach people in need this winter.”

This year, any donation made between Monday 15th November and midday Monday 13th December will be doubled thanks to the Foundation’s generous match fund pledgers WCF Ltd, the John Laing Charitable Trust, Roselands Trust, the Johnson Fund, Brian and Ann Clark Fund, the Harvey Family Fund and a private donor.

Winter Warmth Appeal launches to support older people in Cumbria this winter
Winter Warmth Challenge

Last year, more than a thousand Cumbrians were helped to keep warm, after Cumbrians donated over £200,000 to the appeal.

Donations help people like Dorothy 83, from Carlisle. She said:

“I am very grateful for the grant as it allowed me to heat my home when it was cold. It also made things easier for me as I was struggling financially, due to splitting up with my partner and I have multiple health problems. For people like me, this money makes a big difference to our standard of living.”

Joyce, 80 from Seascale, said:

“I was so worried about heating costs with winter approaching as my health has been so poor and I was considering taking out a loan; I now feel so relieved to know that my heating costs are covered.”

Liz from Windermere found out that she could apply to the Winter Warmth Fund from Age UK, which works in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation, making sure the money reaches those most in need.

The 80-year-old said:

“It really made a difference, especially with being on benefits. I didn’t feel frightened of putting the heating on and I could put the radiators on in all rooms rather than just my lounge.”

Hannah Kitching, Client Services Manager at Age UK South Lakeland, said:

“For a high proportion of our clients, receiving the grant has made the vital difference between remaining warm and well at home during the winter months or being admitted to hospital, or worse. As many older people are only just managing to get by financially, the slightest rise in their outgoings pushes them into fuel poverty, and many have to make the heartbreaking decision between eating or keeping warm. This is not sustainable and leads to a rise in preventable hospital admissions – a very vicious circle. If you find yourself in a more favourable position, we urge you to donate to the Winter Warmth Fund this year; the difference it makes is simply remarkable.”

To donate online, please visit: https://cumbriafoundation.enthuse.com/cf/winter-warmth-appeal.

Alternatively, cheques can be made payable to ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ (write Winter Warmth on the back) and post to Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN. Donations can also be made over the phone by calling 01900 825760 Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm.

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