Saga's support for the 'Surviving Winter' campaign, has already helped 20,000 people. The campaign launched by the Community Foundation Network in November 2011, today announces that it has raised over £2 million and will be helping more vulnerable people across the UK as the cold weather bites.
The campaign encourages people to make donations to help those struggling to pay their fuel bills following record rises in energy costs and falling pensioner Winter Fuel Payments. Saga is particularly concerned about the thousands of older people who are at real risk of dying as a result of the cold weather. The Campaign, implemented by local Community Foundations who organise wonderful volunteer groups across the country, has already assisted thousands of people by helping pay heating bills, providing hot meals and ensuring they are not left isolated. Last year, official figures showed that nine older people died every hour during the winter months. This year we hope that the numbers will fall.
With the extreme winter weather this weekend, Saga urges everyone to continue to help out by checking on vulnerable neighbours, relatives and friends to ensure that they stay safe and healthy as the snow blows in. Dr Ros Altmann, Saga Director General says: “The winter freeze has arrived and poses a very real problem for so many families, including millions of older people, struggling to heat their homes. It is wonderful to see that Surviving Winter has helped thousands already but we need to continue to help those that are vulnerable.
“For many older people, inadequate heating can be life-threatening. Last year the shocking statistics were that over 25,000 older people died of the cold and yet there are ways to avoid this. The Surviving Winter campaign is ready to help people in all local areas who are struggling to stay warm. And every pound given is a pound spent on those in need.”
“The campaign was inspired by individuals, including celebrities*, who said they wanted to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to those who are less fortunate than themselves, but it is open to anyone, of any age, to make a donation. It's certainly not too late to participate in this 'fuel-anthropic' venture, so please help us to help save lives this winter.”
If you want to help you can donate online at http://localgiving.com/saga or www.communityfoundations.org.uk