Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has launched its Surviving Winter 2018/19 campaign,calling for people to help tackle fuel poverty by donating their Government ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ if they are fortunate enough to be able to do so, in order to help older and vulnerable people struggling to keep warm in local communities.

The funds raised are distributed directly to those most in need through HIWCF partners The Footprint Trust, Vivid Homes and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers,to ensure vulnerable people can afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile during the coldest months, providing practical help with travel to doctor’s appointments, assistance with shopping for essential items and support to get out of the house and meet up with friends at a local community group for some company and a natter over a cup of tea.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF commented: “Surviving Winter exists to support those living in fuel poverty and relies almost wholly on donations of unwanted Winter Fuel Payments, with almost £50,000 raised to date over the past eight years.This is a vital campaign that generates funds to help those most severely affected by fuel bill price hikes and the rise in the cost of living, where even keeping one room warm can be a struggle. Winter can be a challenge to survive for some, so if you are in a position to do so, please help by recycling your winter fuel payment or by making a much-needed donation to this vital local cause via the HIWCF website”

Ray Harrington-Vail, General Manager of The Footprint Trust added “The Footprint Trust, as part of the scheme, visits some 500 vulnerable homes reducing clients’ utility bills, getting them better deals on their power and obtaining free insulation for their homes.Last year the Trust saved Islanders over £100,000 on their utility bills. Thanks to the Surviving Winter initiative they were able to help vulnerable people with a contribution towards their fuel bills.”

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that over the winter of 2016-17, there were an estimated 34,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales, which has increased since the previous winter period by around 39.5%. During last winter,20.9% more deaths occurred in England and Wales compared with the non-winter months, and figures for the South East region are higher than this averageat 21.8%. Please help HIWCF to support those in need in our area.

HIWCF encourages the residents of Hampshire and Isle of Wight to donategenerously to theSurviving Winter Campaign; if you can help, please go and make a donation via our‘BT My Donate’page under‘Donate’

Alternatively, please send your donation by cheque to: The Chief Executive, Surviving Winter Campaign, HIWCF, Dame Mary Fagan House, Lutyens Close, Basingstoke, RG24 8AG. Thank you for your support.

If you would like The Footprint Trust’s guidance on keeping warm this winter and on energy efficiency savings contact us on or call 01983 822282