Tuesday 29 May 2012

Saga is proud to announce that support for the 'Surviving Winter' campaign has helped more than 20,000 people across the UK this winter and raised a staggering £2 million, more than double our initial target.


Saga wishes to thank all those who donated and is also grateful for the wonderful media support, which made such a difference.

The campaign was inspired by individuals, including many wonderful celebrities*, who wanted to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to those who are less fortunate than themselves, to help people who were at risk of dying due to the cold winter weather.

From this original idea, the scheme was extended to encourage more people to make donations to help those struggling to pay fuel bills following record rises in energy costs and falling pensioner Winter Fuel Payments in 2011.  Saga was particularly concerned about the thousands of older people at real risk of illness and death as a result of the cold. The Campaign, implemented by local Community Foundation volunteer groups across the country, assisted thousands of people by helping to pay heating bills, providing hot meals and ensuring vulnerable older people were not left isolated. Official figures showed that 25,000 older people died during the winter months of 2010-2011.  This year when figures are released, we hope that the numbers will reveal a fall.
Dr Ros Altmann, Saga Director General says: “Every year, the winter freeze poses a very real problem for so many families, including millions of older people, struggling to keep warm. We are delighted that the fantastic media and celebrity support, Saga's reach and the sheer generosity of so many good, and kind hearted people, has helped the Surviving Winter Campaign raise such a significant amount of money.
“For many older people, inadequate heating can be life-threatening and the statistics are shocking. It is wonderful that so many people were helped this winter, with every pound donated to the campaign being spent on those in need.”  


* Below is a list of some of the other celebrities (and some quotes) who endorsed the campaign:
·         Dame Helen Mirren
·         Sir Terry Wogan
·         Sir Michael Parkinson
·         Jeffrey Archer
·         Jonathan Dimbleby
·         Sue Macgreggor
·         Gloria Hunniford
·         Nick Hewer
·         Rosemary Conley
·         Denise Robertson
·         June Whitfield
·         Joanna Trollope
·         Bill Roache
·         Dame Vera Lynn
·         Kate Adie
·         Peter Snow
·         Sir Victor Blank
·         Ann Widdecombe
·         Dame Cleo Laine

About the Campaign:
The Surviving Winter campaign is run by Community Foundation Network and was piloted by a few Community Foundations in 2010-2011, following demand from better-off local pensioners who wanted a way to give their Winter Fuel Payments to other people who may need it more.  Due to its success, the campaign was rolled out nationally for the winter of 2011-2012 and achieved overwhelming support.
Supporting the Campaign is purely voluntary and open to anyone, not just pensioners.  We know the vast majority of our 12 million pensioners really value their tax-free winter fuel payments. However, we encouraged those who may be fortunate enough not to need this money to recycle it to those who were desperately in need.
This winter’s campaign (2011/2012) raised more than £2million, with every penny raised going to those at risk. Local Community Foundations across the country were very effective at delivering help to their communities.  They have many volunteer staff, so their overheads are low and that means they pledged that every single pound donated will be a whole pound delivered to those in need.


Share this page

Get In Touch

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.