Suffolk has once again proved itself as the kindest county in England, with residents donating more than £100,000 to the life-saving Surviving Winter campaign to help vulnerable people stay warm during the cold winter months.
Launched in November by Suffolk Community Foundation, the annual Surviving Winter campaign encourages people to donate their winter fuel payment to help those who may otherwise struggle to afford to heat their homes.
This year the demand for support increased as more and more people learned of the appeal – meaning that more donations than ever were needed. More than 500 people have so far received support through the scheme, with applications still coming forward.
And this week, it can be revealed that Suffolk residents donated a total of £105,000 to the campaign, beating the £100,000 target and increasing its £85,000 fundraising total from last year by 23%.
For the second year running, the Suffolk campaign has had the highest amount donated across the country.
Tim Holder, Development Director at Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of Suffolk people.
“Once again they have supported the Surviving Winter appeal in the most amazing way, a record breaking £105,000 for vulnerable older people across our county is quite literally saving lives.
“Each year the appeal seems to grow in strength as people see the simplicity of what we are asking and the real impact it can make.
“Local business support from Ipswich Building Society, East of England Co-operative Society and of course the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star has been really valuable and everyone at Suffolk Community Foundation would like to thank our partners and the incredible generosity of the people of Suffolk.
“We really do live in the kindest county in the country.”
However, he is urging people to still make donations if they can, with applications for support still being received.
“We are still very much feeling the effects of winter and, for older and most vulnerable members of our communities, the heating should still be set on full ‘winter mode’ to ensure they stay warm and well,” he said.
“Our experience from previous years tells us that, for some people, the biggest winter heating bills won’t have arrived yet, so it is important to let people know that help is still available and donations are still required.”
Winter fuel payments are automatically given by the Government to everyone over the age of 62, with payments this year ranging from £100 to £300 depending on personal circumstances. In Suffolk, around 184,000 people receive it – about a quarter of the county’s total population.