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Published: 24th Oct, 2016
As eligible Shropshire residents will be about to receive their Winter Fuel Allowance in the next few weeks, Shropshire Rural Communities Charity has launched its annual Warmer Winter Appeal for this winter: helping those for whom rising fuel costs is a source of great anxiety.
Through the Appeal we ask people, who feel they are able, to donate all or some of their Winter Fuel Payment to help those less fortunate than themselves. The Appeal has received a total of £15,000 and has helped over 95 households tackle fuel poverty since it was set up in 2011.
The Government currently distributes “Winter Fuel Payments” to everyone aged over 60 on an annual basis. This is a universal benefit, regardless of whether people are employed and regardless of their income. Many people in Shropshire receive this benefit who may not really need it, while for others, they are forced to make daily decisions about whether to eat or to heat their cold home that day.
Grants of up to £150 are made available, and working through a network of volunteer “energy champions” and referral agencies we identify people who need the help the most, and provide them with insulation, draft exclusion and other energy saving measures, so that this year and subsequent winters, keeping warm will be more affordable.
Sheridan from Bomere Heath has low blood pressure and feels the cold a lot. Her home had electric storage heaters but these were insufficient for the large lounge and by early evening the room was too cool to sit in comfortably. Sheridan would sit wrapped up in a duvet and blankets in an attempt to keep warm.
Her Support Officer requested an electric oil filled radiator to boost the heating. Through the funds received from our Warmer Winter Appeal last year, we were able to award a grant of £50 to Sheridan, and as the radiators were half price, Sheridan was able to buy two.
Please contact Julia Baron – Julia.email@example.com (telephone 01743 360641) - to donate your Winter Fuel Allowance, or for more information on how someone might benefit from the scheme.