You really can save a life

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NIGHTS are lengthening. Temperatures are falling. And the region’s old folk are viewing the months ahead with genuine trepidation. For they are in the front line in the annual battle to beat the winter blues.

But this year The Star hopes to make a difference by throwing our weight behind a life-saving campaign which calls on the generous nature of our readers to help those less fortunate than themselves to Survive Winter.

Everyone over the age of 60 will receive a cold weather payment this winter, whether they need it or not.

It is a great initiative and one, we are sure, which has saved lives and offered much-needed comfort to thousands in the past.

But in this age of economic austerity, when every penny is expected to pay its way, we believe that something should be done so that the money available is better targeted at those who really need it.

That is why we have agreed to join with South Yorkshire Community Foundation to launch the Survive Winter Appeal.

It is a simple idea: if you do not really need your winter fuel allowance, which is usually around £200 per household, then sign up to the appeal and agree for your allowance to go to somebody who is desperate for the support it offers.

A pilot of the campaign has been carried out elsewhere in the country with heartening results. Let us show that South Yorkshire people are just as caring and generous, if not more so.

Your generous act now really could help save someone’s life later this winter.

Teach message to your children

WE are delighted to learn that arson attacks around South Yorkshire over the Bonfire Night period fell for the second year running.

Fire crews were called to deal with 46 incidents, 13 fewer than last year and down an encouraging 31 on 2009.

But while we are pleased with this trend, we believe readers will agree that there were still 46 too many cases of arson in our county, which distracted the emergency services from what could have been life-or-death situations.

These cases also come at the end of a summer which has been blighted by deliberate fires started in every corner of South Yorkshire.

We are pleased to pass on our thanks to the fire service who have worked hard to pass on the message of how foolish it is to start fires.

But we also appeal to parents to make sure their youngsters are aware of this important message.