Our West of England ‘Surviving Winter’ charity appeal has just got a boost from Bishop of Bristol the Reverend Mike Hill, urging people to help their neighbours to stay warm and safe by donating whatever they can afford.
We’re running the Surviving Winter appeal for its seventh year, working with frontline charities across the West of England to support the most vulnerable people in local communities who are at risk during this time of year. Donations from ordinary people can have a big impact.
More than 850 frail and elderly people died last winter in the West of England from causes related to the cold and poor living conditions, a situation Bishop Mike hopes to challenge.
“This appeal makes such a difference to peoples’ lives in the West of England”, said the Right Reverend Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol. “During a long winter, people living alone and in cold homes may be missing out on all the comfort and company available to the rest of us. Whatever you feel able to donate – whether a big or small amount – will go to help real people living in our communities to stay safe and warm this winter.”
As cold and wet weather sets in, older people all over the West of England have received a Winter Fuel Payment from the government, but with rising fuel prices and many elderly people living in homes with poor energy efficiency, large numbers are still faced with a stark choice between heating and eating.
Some people are generously choosing to share all of part of their Winter Fuel Payment, and gifting it to our appeal. In the years we’ve been running the appeal we’ve awarded £152,000 to local ‘Surviving Winter’ projects and charitable groups in that time.
Winter is a time when older people can feel the most isolated and the majority of those at risk of serious harm in the winter are older people living in cold homes. There’s a strong relationship between poor insulation and heating of houses, low indoor temperature and preventable winter-related deaths of older people. And for every winter-related death, as many as eight people will be admitted to hospital with a serious health condition, and dozens more will visit their GP or simply suffer in silence.
With warnings that energy prices may rise and more cold snaps forecast, more people than ever are facing a tough winter ahead. With your support – they won’t have to.
If you want to donate to the Surviving Winter appeal, visit our ‘Donate now‘ page and select ‘Surviving Winter’ or call 0117 989 7700 to request a donation form.
To hear Bishop Mike on BBC Radio Bristol, talking about the appeal, click to listen again. [Credit: bbc.co.uk – © copyright 2017 BBC]