THE Star’s Surviving Winter Appeal has reached another major milestone – breaking the £3,000 mark to help vulnerable pensioners through the bitter cold months.
The appeal, which is run by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, has now received the backing of three major partners in its quest to help elderly people battle fuel poverty.
The campaign urges well-off individuals to donate their winter fuel allowance to those with the greatest need.
Over the coming weeks the Government will give most people over the age of 60 an allowance of £200 to £300 per household.
The grant is given regardless of need, but with soaring fuel bills there are around 73,000 people in South Yorkshire living in severe fuel poverty.
Now the campaign has received the backing of Age UK Sheffield, Agewell and Lunch Clubs in Sheffield, and the South Yorkshire Energy Centre – who will help to reach the people in most need of support.
Rosalind Eve, chief executive of Age UK Sheffield, said the organisation’s support workers often come across pensioners who limit how much heating they use for fear of high bills.
She said: “Age UK Sheffield is keen to support the Surviving Winter Appeal because we are aware that among our customers are those who are forced to make harsh choices between spending money on what to most of us are essentials – food and fuel.”
Jenny Patient, from South Yorkshire Energy Centre, said: “None of us likes high bills, but for some people fuel poverty means choosing between food and fuel, living in one room in a desperate attempt to keep warm, or feeling you can’t invite friends or family round.
“We meet the symptoms every day of people struggling to keep their homes warm, and this is a way for the public to make a practical contribution, and also understand the issues.”
Lisa Sollitt-Pass, director of ALIS, urged people to take part.
She said: “Agewell and Lunch Clubs in Sheffield is proud to support and work with the Surviving Winter Appeal and the wonderful idea of older people helping their peers who are less fortunate than themselves.”
n To donate log on to www.sycf.org.uk/survivingwinter or call 0114 2424857.