October 31 2014 Latest news:
By DAVID BLACKMORE
Monday, October 22, 2012
Actor Roger Lloyd Pack has joined Stephen Fry in giving his support to an EDP-backed campaign to help Norfolk’s vulnerable heat their homes this winter.
The Norfolk-based actor, best known for playing Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, has also donated his winter fuel allowance to the Surviving Winter appeal.
He said: “It is being predicted in some quarters that this winter is going to be particularly harsh.
“Be that as it may, many old people need your support at this time of year to help them with their ever increasing heating bills.”
He added: “Please give whatever you can afford to.”
Mr Lloyd Pack’s backing came just a few days after television and film star Stephen Fry told his 4.9m followers on Twitter the campaign was “a great idea, much needed”.
Broadcaster Helen McDermott, formerly of BBC Radio Norfolk, has also given her backing to the campaign.
She said: “Some older people worry about the cost of keeping warm, yet are too proud to admit that they might need help.
“But help is at hand in the shape of the Surviving Winter campaign, ready with funding and support for vulnerable men and women who dread the months to come.
“The campaign can banish that dread, providing not just warmth but hot meals too.
“In her later years my sister and I made sure that our mum was warm and secure. She deserved it, and so do all those of her generation who worked and did their bit all their lives.
“Let’s give all the encouragement that we can to the Surviving Winter campaign.”
Last year’s appeal raised more than £50,000 – enough to help 237 vulnerable households across the county to stay warm.
But Norfolk Community Foundation, which manages the appeal funds, has already warned it will have to raise even more money this year, as spiralling fuel bills see more senior citizens struggling to heat their homes. The foundation works with Age UK Norfolk in delivering the help.
Many living in rural Norfolk do not have access to mains gas. That means they have to buy fuel oil, which distributors will only deliver in bulk.
Others struggle because their pensions have not kept up with rising costs and winter fuel payments have not been increased.
Between February 2004 and January 2011, gas bills rose by 121pc and electricity bills by 79pc. The standard winter fuel payment remains £200 –the same as it was in 2000, down from £250 in 2010.
Many elderly people are not online. That means they can’t shop around for the best deal, or easily switch suppliers.
Figures show more than 60,000 households – up to one in four in parts of north and east Norfolk –are officially in fuel poverty.