Support was distributed in the form of grants for projects which provided a range of support activities throughout the winter such as Christmas lunches for isolated older people. Additionally, donations raised by the Foundation also provided individual grants to older people in fuel poverty. By working in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureaus the Foundation supported local residents aged over 60, on low income, who were in poor health or living with a disability – all at risk as they struggled to keep warm.
P. L. – a 75-year-old Kinson resident who received a grant from us shared: ‘The Surviving Winter grant made a real difference to me. Feeling warmer is essential for keeping out of hospital with the many medical conditions I have. It also stopped me worrying about the bill too’. P.L. lives on her own in sheltered accommodation and although she used to be a county bowler, she can hardly move now because of numerous health conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease, tendonitis and hardening of the arteries.
P.L. was extremely vulnerable and needed to keep warm, however, as the colder weather started setting in November last year, she was avoiding switching the heating on as she could not afford the electricity bill.
‘P.L.’s experience seems to be common among many older people we helped this winter. Nearly 70% of them suffer from cancer or other health problems which require them to keep warm. Our Appeal makes a real difference to local older people and it often saves lives – the winter mortality numbers for our county are shocking – 336 vulnerable residents died of cold-related deaths during the winter of 2014/15’, explained Tracy Melling, Chief Executive at the Foundation.
The Foundation’s work stretches beyond support for older people – since its inception 16 years ago we have supported thousands of people and hundreds of local charities and community groups by funding issues affecting local communities such as disability, education and rural isolation.
Read here Tracy’s ( our Chief Executive) blog on the Appeal.