Local Surviving Winter Appeal still open to donations

Vulnerable and elderly people across North and East Yorkshire at risk of illness, isolation and death during the coldest months of the year are being helped by Two Ridings Community Foundation with the support of match funds from the British Gas Energy Trust, and older people who don't need their Winter Fuel Allowance are being especially urged to help.

Two Ridings Community Foundation is a grant making charity that supports thriving communities in North and East Yorkshire, York and Hull. It will use money raised to support local charities across North and East Yorkshire. Last year the appeal raised over £8,500 and helped 500 people at risk of illness, isolation and even death during the coldest months of the year. This year, thanks to a successful bid to the British Gas Energy Trust, a consortium of charities led by Rural Action Yorkshire, every donation in North Yorkshire can be matched by a further 50%. This means that if £100 is donated, with Gift Aid and the BGET match we can turn that donation into £175.

The funds raised helped older people, families, those with chronic health conditions, those with mental health issues, carers and disabled people across North and East Yorkshire in a variety of different ways.

Funds have been used to provide blankets, fuel, coats, thermos flasks, hot water bottles, draught excluders, hot breakfasts for homeless people and food, the fund has also allowed vulnerable older people to receive warm healthy homes assessments and improvements to be carried out as necessary. Selby CAB used some of their funding to provide blankets to a very elderly couple, both of whom were visually impaired, who were struggling to cope financially and worried about heating bills. Blankets helped to relieve their worry and to keep them warm and safe during particularly cold spells.

Donations to the Appeal can be made by visiting www.trcf.org.uk.

Surviving Winter is a campaign that grew from generous pensioners wanting to recycle their Winter Fuel Allowance to those in need. In 2014 Two Ridings Community Foundation raised over £8,500 to help elderly and vulnerable individuals survive the winter through working with local charities to provide warmth packs, meals on wheels, boiler repairs and much more.

Between 2012 and 2014 there were 970 excess winter deaths in North Yorkshire alone. Households with members over age 60 represent a quarter of the fuel poor population and 34% of those in fuel poverty live with a long term illness or disability, leaving some unable to work.