How you can help Norfolk’s needy elderly to stay warm this winter

An appeal has been launched to help Norfolk's needy elderly heat their homes this winter. Picture: P

An appeal has been launched to help Norfolk's needy elderly heat their homes this winter. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Surviving Winter, run by the Norfolk Community Foundatuion and Age UK Norfolk, helps those struggling make ends meet to pay their fuel bills.

Launched with the idea that those who don't need their fuel allowance might donate all or part of it to the appeal, Surviving Winter has raised almost £200,000 and awarded 1,200 grants since it was launched five years ago.

Last year, our generous readers helped raise £55,000, which was given out in grants to individuals and groups such as lunch clubs and community transport projects.

Simply keeping warm in the colder weather can be a challenge for many vulnerable and elderly people due to poverty and inadequate housing. Some face the daily dilemma of 'heat or eat'.

Lin Matthews, information and advice manager with Age UK Norfolk, said: 'We are delighted to once again be involved with Surviving Winter, as we know first-hand what a difference the grants make to the health and lives of older people living in Norfolk.'

Grants are available to Norfolk residents aged 60 and over, who are finding it hard to keep warm. Money has been given towards the cost of gas bottles and LPG, coal and wood, heating oil, plug-in portable heaters, cookers and microwaves. Contributions have also been made towards the cost of heating repairs and replacement radiators.

One elderly recipient from last year's appeal said: 'I heard about the grant from my Age UK Norfolk Money Matters volunteer. I only have my state pension to live on. I have to pay heating, lighting and living costs which is quite difficult. The grant will be a tremendous help towards my heating and lighting bills. I can use my heating without worrying about the cost.'

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Anyone wishing to apply for help from the appeal should call the Age UK Norfolk advice line on 0300 500 1217. Health and social care professionals can also make referrals.

Click here to donate.