Surviving Winter lends a hand to those most in need

Surviving Winter lends a hand to those most in need

This year’s Surviving Winter campaign raised more than £1.45 million

For the most vulnerable in our communities’ winter can be one of the hardest seasons to get through, due to isolation and cold. Unfortunately, across the UK this year record numbers of older people found themselves struggling.

The Surviving Winter campaign, established and run by community foundations across the UK and their membership body UK Community Foundations (UKCF), was once again there to meet this need and help some of the most defenceless people in society. A record high of more than £1.45 million was distributed which  helped over 23,000 elderly and vulnerable people stay warm and well.

The record level of support for this year’s campaign is indicative of people across the UK being committed to making a difference when they see a need. Figures from the Office for National Statistics* estimate that there were over 31,000 excess winter deaths in 2012/13 – of these 26,500 were aged 75 and over.

This demonstrates just how vital the campaign is and the scale of the challenge facing the older demographic. In particular, grants seek to help those most severely affected by energy price hikes and the rising cost of living, issues that are amplified for those living on a fixed income.

Now in its third year, the Surviving Winter campaign distributed funds directly to individuals as well as to local organisations that are dedicated to helping the elderly and vulnerable. This included supporting local food banks that have been overstretched this winter with demand outstripping supply.

This is why the Surviving Winter campaign has been so important to so many. There is a significant need in our communities which is often overlooked. It’s vital that we all do more to help address the issues and fears affecting older people across the UK and try to mitigate or ease the effects of continued living cost increases.

No one should be left struggling and there is a responsibility on us all to do all we can to help. Next winter we call on everyone to give all they can to their local Surviving Winter campaign to ensure we can help even more of the most vulnerable in our communities, and remind them that they are not forgotten.