With fuel prices rising and the Covid-19 pandemic still impacting on people’s lives, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has launched the Surviving Winter Campaign to help tackle fuel poverty for older people in our local community struggling to keep warm during the coldest months.

It is extremely challenging for people living within limited financial means to afford rising fuel bills and top-ups for their prepayment meters. Many find themselves in the difficult situation of choosing to either keep warm or buy food. Recent government statistics indicate that 8,500 people died across England and Wales last winter due to cold homes.

As well as raising funds from the general public, the Surviving Winter Campaign asks those in receipt of the Government’s Annual Winter Fuel Payment to donate their payment, if they are in a position to do so, to help those needing help to keep warm across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

HIWCF partners with Citizens Advice Hampshire and The Footprint Trust Isle of Wight to award the Surviving Winter grants, which help vulnerable people to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile, including practical assistance with travel to medical appointments and support with shopping for essential medication and groceries.

Families, individuals and businesses wishing to help can make a donation here and we can also accept cheque donations posted to: The Chief Executive, Surviving Winter Campaign, HIWCF, The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 4AF, (cheque payable to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation). Taxpayers donating by cheque may also wish to increase their donation, if eligible, by completing a Gift Aid Form, available here.

For more information on applying for a grant from the Surviving Winter Fund, please visit Citizens Advice Hampshire’s website on www.citahants.org. Residents on the Isle of Wight can contact The Footprint Trust by email on info@footprint-trust.co.uk