Best ever start to Surviving Winter campaign - as donations top £65,000 in record time
PUBLISHED: 16:15 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:15 03 December 2018
The Surviving Winter campaign has had its best opening month - with more that £65,000 pledged already towards keeping the most vulnerable of our community warm through winter.
The annual campaign, organised by the Suffolk Community Foundation, looks to support people though the coldest momths by asking those who receive a fuel allowance they do not need to donate it to others that do.
This year’s campaign has been boosted by the news that Woodbridge-based house-builder Hopkins Homes will match fund up to £30,000, using money from its £150,000 Hopkins Winter Crisis Fund - the largest ever single donation to the appeal.
A further £20,000 will be allocated by Hopkins as a small grants fund which will be distributed through food banks and other outreach charities.
Tim Holder, SCF’s head of public affairs said they have had a ‘stunning start’ to the campaign.
“The match fund seems to have really captured the imagination of the generous folk of Suffolk since Josh Hopkins announced it in the East Anglian Daily Times a week ago,” he said.
“Donations have been flowing in steadily since the launch , but within a few days of the announcement we had a record-breaking £25,000 of donations reach us by post and by phone in just a few days.
“We have already reached the amazing £65,000 milestone towards out £160,000 target - a stunning start and our best ever opening month.”
Mr Holder said Citizen’s Advice has been extremely busy since the appeal kicked off, with applications coming in thick and fast,
The team has already distributed grants to more than 60 households across in the county, with another 50 applications currently being processed.
Nelleke Van Helfteren, deputy manager at Ipswich Citizen’s Advice, said: “It’s really shocked us that over 60% of applications are spending more than 10% of their income on heating bills alone. Speaking to older vulnerable people every day, you can really appreciate just how important these payments are to keeping people warm and well.”
This year’s campaign has been joined by a number of charities that focus on isolation and loneliness after 35% of last year’s applicants said they felt a lack of companionship.
Donate online at www.suffolkcf.org.uk or call Suffolk Community Foundation on 01473 602602.
You can also donate by cheque using the coupon printed in the East Anglian Daily Times, or in person at any branch of Ipswich Building Society
To receive help, simply visit any branch of Citizen’s Advice in Suffolk or call 01473 298634.