Surviving Winter - how your donations will help thousands of vulnerable people stay warm, sheltered and fed
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With your help, thousands of people across the county will benefit from a campaign aimed at keeping the elderly and vulnerable warm and cared for this winter.
The Surviving Winter campaign, run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening News, is aiming to raise £150,000 to tackle fuel poverty and isolation for those who struggle the most between now and the spring.
The campaign is urging older people who do not need their winter fuel allowance to donate it to those who desperately do, as many are faced with choosing between paying the bills and putting food on the table.
Linda Mathews, is head of charitable services for Age UK Norfolk, said the campaign will also help those are left trapped in their homes in winter.
She added: 'If they no longer drive, the thought of walking along a dark or slippery path to the bus stop is enough to stop many from venturing out to the shops or pharmacy.
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'The Surviving Winter campaign will enable us to boost resource to our telephone befriending service so we can keep closer tabs on vulnerable elderly people who may not be 'in the system'; helping them access the support they need, whether that's a referral to a lunch club or support paying winter fuel bills.'
As well as working with Age UK Norfolk, Community Foundation is also working with key partners Norwich Foodbank and St Martins Housing Trust to spread the support to the homeless and poverty-stricken families.
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Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of St Martins, said: 'The campaign will help to provide practical support to people who are homeless and rough sleeping when they need it most.
'Having to find somewhere, which may or may not be safe, to try to get a few hours' sleep and survive a night with temperatures close to freezing sounds like something that was happening hundreds of years ago. Sadly, it is happening right now, in Norfolk.'
Hannah Worsley, Norwich Foodbank project manager, said the campaign helped to issue 58 fuel vouchers to families, couples and individuals last year.
'This year, we have increased the number of agencies able to make foodbank referrals and issue energy vouchers, so we can reach more people this winter and take away the hard choice of deciding whether to cook or put the heating on,' she added.
To donate, visit the Surviving Winter appeal donation page, or you can make a cheque payable to Norfolk Community Foundation and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN.
For more information about the Norfolk Community Foundation Surviving Winter appeal visit www.norfolkfoundation.com.