SOUTH Yorkshire’s own chat show king Sir Michael Parkinson has thrown his weight behind The Star’s Surviving Winter Appeal.
The Barnsley-born broadcaster, who has long championed the plight of elderly people, is backing the campaign to help keep South Yorkshire’s pensioners warm this winter.
There are 73,000 elderly people in South Yorkshire living in fuel poverty, struggling to heat their homes.
The Government pays most over-60s a winter fuel allowance, usually at least £200 per household, but many do not need it.
The Surviving Winter Appeal aims to persuade people who don’t really need their allowance to donate it to those for whom it is a lifeline.
Donated money, administered by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, will help less well off people to pay fuel bills or fit insulation.
Sir Michael said: “I fully support the Surviving Winter Appeal, to assist the elderly and the vulnerable to keep warm and healthy during our cold winters.
“If you are in a position to do so please help by donating all or part of your winter fuel payment to this very worthwhile cause.”
The campaign, which is being rolled out by the community foundation network across the country, is also being backed by broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, actor Sir David Jason, and politician Ann Widdecombe. Terry Wogan said: “This is an excellent way for local people to help some of the most vulnerable older people in their area.
“I’ll certainly pass my payment on and encourage everybody who can to contribute towards it.”
And Only Fools and Horses actor David Jason added: “Staying warm and healthy in our cold winters is something most of us take for granted.
“However when the idea of those more fortunate handing on their winter fuel payments to local, vulnerable people was presented, I wanted to pledge my payment to the Surviving Winter Appeal.
“It would be great to think that all those people who are in a position to forego part or all of their own winter fuel payment could join this great scheme.”
n To donate money:
n Log on to the internet via www.sycf.org.uk/survivingwinter
n Send a cheque to Surviving Winter Appeal, South Yorkshire Community Foundation, 6 Leeds Road, Sheffield, S9 3TY.
Make cheques payable to South Yorkshire Community Foundation.
n Call 0114 242 4857.