Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis endorses Surviving Winter campaign
Glastonbury Festival organiser and long-time Surviving Winter supporter Michael Eavis CBE has endorsed this year’s campaign once again. Surviving Winter, administered by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), is an award-winning appeal which encourages people to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment to help local people living in fuel poverty. Now in its ninth year, Surviving Winter aims to raise over £100,000 to help isolated and vulnerable older people living in Somerset this winter.
New data recently released shows that in Somerset, between 2014 and 2017, there have been on average 440 excess winter deaths each year, which is higher than we previously thought. In the 2016/17, the latest winter period we have reliable data for, the rate of excess winter mortality was 25% higher than the average rate across the South West region and second only to Dorset and Poole. Typically, the region’s cities had much lower rates of excess winter deaths than rural areas, perhaps reflecting the greater prevalence of fuel-poverty in rural areas, combined with isolation from essential services. [Source: Public Health England]
Michael Eavis, who has donated his 2018/19 Winter Fuel Payment to the campaign, says: “I am so pleased that there are so many people who can transfer their Winter Fuel allowance to people who need it.”
Andrew Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation goes on to say: “When a person living in fuel poverty receives their Surviving Winter grant, not only does it help pay their heating bill, it is also the first step towards connecting them to one of our local Surviving Winter delivery partners. This can become the foundation for a new relationship which helps to overcome the isolation and loneliness many older people in our county experience. Last year’s campaign was our best campaign yet and, with your help, we are aiming to help even more people this winter.”
To donate some or all of your Winter Fuel Payment, or to make a donation of any size to the Surviving Winter appeal, please send a cheque made payable to Somerset Community Foundation (writing SW on the back), Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN; or you can call 01749 344949 to pay over the phone; or you can donate online here.
Gift Aid forms are available to download here.