The Bishop of Bath & Wells, Rt Revd Peter Hancock is backing this year’s Surviving Winter Campaign, being launched this week by the Somerset Community Foundation.
Now in its fifth year, the Surviving Winter Campaign appeals to people who can live without it their Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to help pensioners struggling with the cost of staying warm.
Across Somerset it is estimated there are almost 5,000 pensioner households living in fuel poverty and the impact of cold weather and cold homes brings unseen misery and suffering to hundreds of people in our communities, sometimes with fatal consequences. On average there are around 300 winter-related deaths in Somerset each year, the majority are people over 65 years old.
Bishop Peter, who is a Vice President of Somerset Community Foundation and Patron of Age UK Somerset says, “Every so often a campaign comes along that just makes sense. The Surviving Winter Campaign is one of those.”
“People who feel they can live without their winter fuel payment donate the money to help those struggling to pay fuel bills this winter. With increasing food and fuel bills some of our elderly neighbours are facing the stark choice of whether to heat or eat. That shouldn’t happen. Whilst not at the age to qualify for the fuel payment just yet, I will be donating to the campaign and encourage others to do so too.”
Donations may be made via the Somerset Community Foundation website or by sending a cheque to their office at Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN.