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Surviving Winter appeal

Hundreds of older people in Somerset are forced to choose between heating and eating every winter.

Many older people are extremely anxious about the high cost of energy and already struggling with the soaring cost-of-living. This means our Surviving Winter grants are more crucial than ever. We know many of the most vulnerable and poorest older people try not to turn their heating on at all or cut back on food to save money.

Around 10,000 older people in Somerset were living in fuel poverty in 2023 – almost double the number in the same situation in 2022.


low-income pensioners in Somerset will be living in fuel poverty this winter


people were helped by a Surviving Winter grant in Somerset in 2022-23

1 in 0

of Somerset’s over 65s live alone

Your gifts make a difference on your doorstep.

Your donations to our Surviving Winter appeal support around 800 vulnerable older people across Somerset every year to stay warm, safe and well through the winter.

Your gifts help to provide:

  • vital grants of up to £500 to cover heating costs
  • community meals, befriending support or other activities to reduce loneliness and isolation
  • access to practical support to make small changes around the home to increase energy efficiency and help reduce energy bills, plus  support to access more significant home improvements.

The difference you’ve made since 2010.

Surviving Winter began in the winter of 2010/11 right here in Somerset. One of our colleagues at that time offered to give his Winter Fuel Payment to help local older people struggling with the cost of heating their homes.

From this simple idea Surviving Winter has spread across the country, raising millions of pounds nationally and over £1.5 million in Somerset alone*. Over 100,000 older people have had a Surviving Winter grant since the first appeal.

*correct as at June 2024

How to get a Surviving Winter grant

Surviving Winter grants are available for older people living in Somerset who can’t  adequately heat their homes. Find more information about how to get a Surviving Winter grant.

How your donation changes lives

Help us keep older people warm, safe, and well.

If you can afford to, please make a personal gift, or donate from your Winter Fuel Payment to support our Surviving Winter appeal. Your gift will be used to provide vital Surviving Winter grants and support. Together, we can reduce financial anxiety and make sure people can keep themselves warm, safe and well this winter.

Other ways you can donate

Send a cheque made payable to ‘Somerset Community Foundation’ with the reference SW on the back to our address.