New fund set up to beat fuel poverty

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A NEW partnership has been formed between three local charities to help victims of fuel poverty in Hastings this winter.

Sussex Community Foundation has teamed up with Citizens Advice 1066 and Age UK East Sussex to distribute money raised as part of a new campaign called Surviving Winter.

Surviving Winter is being organised by Sussex Community Foundation locally and was inspired by people keen to donate their Winter Fuel Payment from the Government to support people less able to pay their fuel bills.

The campaign has so far raised more than £19,000 in Sussex.

Kevin Richmond, chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation, said: “The response to this appeal has been fantastic. So many local people have been moved to help those in need. Sussex Community Foundation is delighted to work with Age UK and the Citizens Advice Bureau to make sure these donations reach the people who desperately need help.”

It is estimated that more than 5,700 households are living in fuel poverty in Hastings.

The Surviving Winter appeal will channel all the funds raised to provide support to older and vulnerable people who are suffering because of fuel poverty. Many have pledged to donate their Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300.

Money raised will be directed to those most in need of help and make sure they can afford to stay warm, eat well and remain mobile, as well as help them in practical ways such as ensuring they can make doctor’s appointments. Grants will be made by cheque direct to those in need.

Steve Hare, chief Executive of Age UK East Sussex, said: “Winter can be a particularly difficult and lonely time for older people. Every little we can do to help will make a massive difference to someone’s life. We are pleased to be able to help Sussex Community Foundation to make a difference.”

Dina Christodoulou, CEO of Citizens Advice 1066, said: “Fuel poverty has a terrible impact on people’s lives. With rising fuel costs and falling temperatures and incomes, many families with young children are faced with a choice of keeping warm or eating well.”

To donate to the appeal visit www.localgiving.com/survivingwinter.