Donate your Winter Fuel Payment so Somerset’s elderly don’t have to choose between heating and eating

November 24, 2020

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) has launched this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, which encourages people who can afford it to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment to help local people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.

As we head into winter, many of us face an expensive – but essential – bill for heating our homes, while hundreds of our older neighbours here in Somerset are forced to choose between heating and eating. The coronavirus outbreak means that, for many older and vulnerable people, this winter will be even more difficult and worrying. Many will need to stay at home to keep themselves safe, and will find themselves cut off from family and friends, facing higher costs to heat their homes.

A shocking 10% of households in Somerset live in fuel poverty. Thanks to the bright idea of one generous pensioner, hundreds of older people in Somerset are being supported to stay warm, safe and well every winter through Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign.

Surviving Winter encourages people who don’t need their Winter Fuel Payment to donate some or all of it to help local older people who are unable to afford to heat their homes.

Every year Surviving Winter helps around 500 elderly people living in Somerset through the cold winter months, thanks to generous local donors who, last year, donated an incredible £135,000 to the appeal.

SCF hopes to build on the fantastic support they received last year to help even more older people in the county this winter. Thanks to support from a generous funder and The Big Give, online donations to the campaign that are made during the week-long Big Give Christmas Challenge – midday Tuesday 1 December to midday Tuesday 8 December – will be doubled! So, not only will your donation be worth twice as much, but SCF will also be able to help even more older and isolated people across Somerset feel warm, safe and well this winter.

SCF is delighted to announce that Glastonbury Festival organiser and long-time Surviving Winter supporter Michael Eavis CBE has endorsed the campaign for another year.

Of this year’s Surviving Winter appeal, Michael says: “I know many people will have had a tough year, and we face some challenging months ahead, so it’s very good to know there are people like Somerset Community Foundation who locate the needs of people and can award Surviving Winter grants to fulfil these needs.”

Help Somerset Community Foundation reach their target of raising £120,000 to help at least 500 isolated and vulnerable older people this year.

If you would like to donate to Surviving Winter, visit or call 01749 344949. Don’t forget that the first £15,000 of donations made online between midday Tuesday 1 December and midday Tuesday 8 December will be doubled. A donation form is also available to download from the Somerset Community Foundation website.

Further information on how to apply for a Surviving Winter grant will be published shortly on Somerset Community Foundation’s website. Please check: for updates.

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