Are you struggling with heating bills this winter – or do you know someone who is? Are you, a friend or a neighbour suffering isolation or is the pandemic having a major impact on your or their mental health?
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a profound impact on all our lives, we perhaps have a greater empathy than ever before of what it is to feel vulnerable, lonely or isolated.
And with the winter beginning to bite as temperatures plummet , Suffolk is bracing itself for a dramatic increase in need.
Last year The Suffolk Community Foundation Surviving Winter Appeal raised enough money to heat over 1000 homes and connected many hundreds of people to other services to help tackle isolation,
Thanks to the incredible generosity of donors and supporters SCF have so far raised a record £270,000 for this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal and they are merging this with the Rebuilding Local Lives initiative that they have been running since the start of the pandemic. They hope that this action will deliver a much louder and easily understood central message to increase local giving and ensure that every vulnerable person in our ‘Caring County’ is supported to ‘Stay Warm, Stay Well and Stay Connected’.
Already this winter, they have helped heat almost 500 homes, and provide additional advice to help people stay warm stay well and connected. However, it is so important that they reach many more vulnerable people in need as quickly as possible.
Their message is – if you need help apply now! Just ring 01473 219770 to talk to someone about your eligibility and what help is available
The process to access support is simple and quick, with eligibility based on the household or individuals circumstances, including:
Income and savings
Debt or arrears on an energy bill
Disabilities and long-term health conditions
Those families who are eligible for free school meals are also likely to meet the criteria.
This programme is administered centrally for Suffolk by Ipswich’s Citizens Advice Bureau so if you need help with heating bills or mental or physical support contact them directly on 01473 219770.
In addition to support with home heating, almost a third of applicants this year are also receiving additional support from Citizens Advice as result of their call.
Please help us to tell people that help is available for them and support them to come forward to receive it. Speak to your neighbours, your existing networks, engage on social media, share this newsletter and encourage people of all ages to come forward for the help SCF have available.
If you don’t need help but you CAN donate – by cheque, online or by phone – go to their website to find out how.
To find out more about the Surviving Winter Appeal click below