Herald fight to keep the elderly warm tops £3K
THE Herald's drive to help keep pensioners warm this winter and keep the potentially fatal effects of cold at bay has topped the £3,000 mark.
Since we teamed up with Age UK Plymouth to encourage better-off pensioners to donate their Winter Fuel payments to the less fortunate, a string have come forward to make donations.
And delighted Lynne Hodgson, Age UK Plymouth's fundraising and marketing manager, said offers of help are still coming in.
She said: "There has been a great response, for which we are very grateful. All the money will be put to good use.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Our appeal is a 'winter crisis fund' and the money raised will be earmarked to use in crisis situations.
"For example, we can supply heaters, blankets and warm clothing to people who cannot put their heating on if it is broken or faulty. We can also supply basic food and cold remedy supplies for people who may need this extra help in the colder snaps, plus make outreach visits to lonely and isolated people.
"It is important to stress we will not be making direct financial payments, but we can offer winter benefits checks to ensure older people are receiving their full entitlement."
Help is available to people who cannot pay their fuel bills from the Home Heat Helpline. Phone 0800 336699, log on to www.homeheathelpline.org.uk or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 111 444 for more information.
Lynne said donations would allow Age UK Plymouth to carry out a range of services which would help safeguard the elderly.
These include education or providing information and advice about winter-related issues; preparing homes for winter; providing additional social interaction for those who find it hard to get out in winter months and extra visiting and befriending services.
Money will also help with the support of winter-related benefits checks and how to access financial support; providing additional winter measures such as clothes, winter boots, blankets and heaters and information and advice about eating well and keeping moving during winter.
Age UK Plymouth will also use donations to check homes for draughts, and to monitor central heating systems and smoke alarms; ensure people are stocked up on basic food supplies and cold remedies in case they are unable to get out due to the weather.
Lynne said: "Donations are still being received. It is a fantastic response.
"Age UK Plymouth would be delighted to hear from any businesses or organisations in the city who feel they may be able to help by donating relevant goods or volunteering time to support the winter warmth appeal. Contact us by phoning 01752 253980 or email fundraising @ageukplymouth.org.uk."
Age UK Plymouth is holding a Spirit of Christmas Concert at the Central Methodist Hall in Plymouth on Tuesday December 18.
Tickets cost £5 and are available at all Age UK Plymouth centres, or by phoning 01752 253980.
Comment Page 11