Surviving Winter Appeal 2017/18

Help Kent’s elderly and isolated survive winter

Surviving Winter

Thousands of elderly people die each winter due to the cold. There were an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2015-16.

Living in a cold home has significant negative effects on both physical and mental health. Older people with underlying circulatory or respiratory disease have the greatest risk of their health being affected by cold temperatures and the majority of excess winter deaths are in people over 75 years old. 

During the winter months, many individuals struggle to heat their homes or find it difficult to get out and about to access services, buy food or see friends and family. At Kent Community Foundation we want to make winter less lonely for older people as well as helping them stay well, healthy and independent. Our Elderly and Isolated Adults Themed Programme support's local projects that address the everyday challenges faced by elderly people in Kent and Medway.

The Surviving Winter Appeal helps older and vulnerable people get through the winter months through generous donations from people who don't need their Winter Fuel Payment donating it to those they feel really do. A donation to the Elderly and Isolated Theme helps support organisations that provide much-needed services and give advice or combat isolation. 

If just 1% of everyone over 60 in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment in Kent and Medway were to donate their £200 to the Surviving Winter Appeal this winter, we would have a Fund of more than £1million to help vulnerable elderly people in the county. We are therefore calling on people who receive the payment but don’t rely on it, to donate it to others in greater need. But you don’t have to be over 60 to give to this campaign, so anyone who wants to give, even a small amount, will be making a significant difference to vulnerable, elderly people here in Kent.

Please donate online or alternatively send donations via cheque to Kent Community Foundation (FAO Liz Tredget and with a note clearly marked for Surviving Winter Campaign) to KENT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, Evegate Park Barn, Evegate Business Park, ASHFORD, Kent TN25 6SX

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Here are some of the facts:

Approx. 10% of those aged 65 years and over say they feel lonely all or most of the time – this equates to around 52,300 people in Kent and Medway

One in eight households in Kent is occupied by a pensioner living on their own.

64,000 households (1 in 11) in Kent/Medway are affected by fuel poverty. 

10% of fuel poor households contain a person over the age of 75

  There were 630 "excess" winter deaths in the Kent (2014-15) and 312 Medway (2014-15).

Every single £1 donated to the fund will contribute to projects that support elderly and vulnerable adults in Kent such as; lunch clubs and other social events to help people stay in touch and keep active during the winter, workshops and advice, transport, befriending services and schemes helping elderly residents with tasks such as shopping or gardening

 

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CASE STUDY: Cinque Ports Community Kitchen CIC 

Cinque Ports Community Kitchen CIC teach disadvantaged local people to cook from scratch, on a tight budget, with fresh ingredients. As a result, they gain access to a healthy diet, develop employment-related skills, grow in self-confidence and reduce social isolation.  

Using funding through the Surviving Winter Fund they held two lunches for older people living in Deal and Sandwich and experiencing isolation and/or financial hardship. They were offered transport to Chequers Kitchen for a traditional hot, homemade, nourishing meal alongside a 20-minute cookery demonstration of ideas for easy, nutritious, tasty and low-cost dishes to keep well-nourished during winter. They were also given energy saving and keeping warm advice, and information about local activities. 

In total 55 local pensioners came along to the lunches and listened to short talks by local energy champions. Some also benefitted from one-to-one chats about the energy tariffs they are on, their current energy bills, options for switching providers and other energy saving ideas. They also met local community organisers and were invited to subsequent events in their neighbourhoods where they can socialise and get access to support and friendship.

"The Surviving Winter lunches gave me an opening to engage with residents directly on the issue of how to achieve affordable warmth, through insulation measures, how to ensure energy is not wasted, or switching energy supplier to ensure residents are on the best tariff. Following the events I received several calls thanking me for the information I’d given - in particular one lady called as she wanted to say a big thank you for all my help - as a direct result of my advice she achieved savings of £270.00 per annum on her energy bills." Dover District Council, Climate Change and Energy Conservation Officer

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Of course, not everyone over 60 feels in a position to ‘recycle’ their Winter Fuel Payment in this way, and Kent Community Foundation encourages anyone who needs the payment to hold on to it and make sure they keep themselves warm over the winter.