Surviving Winter



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

This winter we will see even more pensioners facing the choice of heating or eating as energy prices rise. And in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, this winter will continue to be difficult and worrying for many of our older neighbours. Many will need to stay at home to keep themselves safe, will find themselves cut off from family and friends, and will face even higher costs to heat their homes this year.

With your help, we can help them stay warm, safe and well.

If you can afford to, please donate some or all of your Winter Fuel Payment to help support those living in fuel poverty.





Your donations will help us make sure around 500 vulnerable older people across Somerset have the support they need to get through the winter.

Your gift will help provide:







Thank you

A big thank you to all our donors who gave online during the Big Give Christmas Challenge last year and doubled their donation. Sadly we weren’t chosen for matched funding by the Big Give this year, but thanks to the generosity of our friends at Field House Trust, the first £15,000 of donations will be matched by 50%.  

Joyce’s story

At 81, Joyce dreads every winter and goes without food just to make sure she’s able to keep her home heated. She told us how a Surviving Winter grant made such a difference last year and meant she didn’t need to choose between food in her cupboards or a warm home.

“Every winter I struggle to pay the increased heating bills. I dread winter. I have poor circulation, brought on by Raynaud’s Disease, and it’s just so difficult to get warm. My fingers and toes are never warm, even in the summer. In the winter they go nearly black with the cold. I need to make sure my little two-bedroom bungalow is heated in the winter, so I go without other things instead. I won’t go out, or I cut down on food. I’ll go to the supermarket in the evenings when I know the food is sometimes reduced.

The money I got from the Surviving Winter grant stopped all my worry last year. It was such a great help and for me it meant a winter without stress for once. It meant I didn’t have to go without food and I could afford to pay my heating bill.”

How to donate

You can support the Surviving Winter appeal by:

  • making an online donation: it’s quick and easy to donate and add Gift Aid to your donation
  • calling us on 01749 344949 to make a telephone donation by credit or debit card
  • sending a cheque made payable to ‘Somerset Community Foundation’ with the reference SW on the back to our address at the bottom of this page. We can boost the value of your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate if you print, complete and return this Donation Form along with your cheque.
Please note, to maximise your gift we will no longer be sending a thank you letter/receipt unless it is requested.

The difference you've made since 2010

Surviving Winter began in 2010 right here in Somerset. We were contacted by one of our donors who offered to give his Winter Fuel Payment to help local pensioners 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 £925,000 in Somerset alone*. Over 90,000 older people have received a Surviving Winter grant since the first appeal. 





Surviving Winter grants

Surviving Winter grants are available for older people living in Somerset, who are unable to adequately heat their homes.

Please contact the following groups for further information on applying for a Surviving Winter grant:

AGE UK Somerset (Countywide)

Centre for Sustainable Energy (Countywide)

Community Council for Somerset (Countywide)

Citizens Advice Mendip

Citizens Advice Sedgemoor

Citizen Advice South Somerset

Citizen Advice Taunton

Forum 21

Frome-Selwood Rotary Club (Frome)

Health Connections Mendip

MHA Communities Mendip

SSAFA Somerset (Countywide)

*correct as at Sept 2021

Page updated 19/11/2021

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