Ipswich: �10,000 donated in first week of Surviving Winter appeal

THE organisers of this year’s Surviving Winter campaign in Suffolk say they have been “blown away” by the initial response, which has seen more than �10,000 donated already.

The fundraising initiative is being led by The Suffolk Foundation, Age UK Suffolk and the Ipswich Star – with support from the East of England Co-operative Society – and is aimed at helping vulnerable people pay their fuel bills and stay warm over the coming months.

Last year the campaign raised �55,000 and helped 250 people and it is hoped that the total could be matched or even beaten this year.

Stephen Singleton, chief executive of the Suffolk Foundation, said: “Once again, the response of the Suffolk public has blown us away. To reach the milestone of �10,000 in the first week of our public appeal is amazing, and a tribute to the generosity of Ipswich Star readers.

“Last year, we couldn’t keep up with the demand for winter grants for vulnerable older people so we are determined to raise as much as we can to help support those in need during the coming cold months.”

Between 2007 and 2010 on average 454 vulnerable people in Suffolk have died each year from causes directly attributable to cold and poor living conditions.

The vast majority of those affected were more than 65 years old, while more than 56,000 households in Suffolk live in fuel poverty.

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Ipswich Building Society is leading the way among Suffolk businesses by offering its support again this year to Suffolk’s Surviving Winter Appeal.

A spokesman said: “After supporting the Surviving Winter Appeal last year, Ipswich Building Society was overwhelmed by the astounding response the appeal received and as a result will be fully behind it again this year, helping to raise money to support the older population in Suffolk this winter.”

Posters are already up and pledge forms available in all Ipswich Building Society branches to help raise awareness about this year’s appeal.

Surviving Winter forms will be printed regularly in the Star over the coming weeks and all the details will be available to help people make a contribution.

You can call The Suffolk Foundation directly on 01473 602602 to pay by card or, alternatively, you can visit its website, www.suffolk foundation.org.uk

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