Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Could You Donate Your Fuel Allowance to Poor?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Could You Donate Your Fuel Allowance to Poor?

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan O'Donoghue Reporter dan.odonoghue@ncjmedia.co.uk

THOUSANDS of homes across the North East are to go cold over the Christmas period because of fuel poverty.

Government figures have revealed the region has the second highest amount of people struggling to afford to heat their homes because of low levels of income, with one in nine households affected.

In a bid to help those affected and prevent hundreds of unnecessary deaths the Surviving Winter Campaign has returned this year.

The campaign is run by the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland and aims to get people who do not use their winter fuel allowance to donate to people who need extra help.

Last year the campaign raised PS20,000 and helped countless pensioners across the region.

Sir Nigel Sherlock, KCVO OBE, a Patron of the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, has given his backing to the campaign.

He said: "During my time as Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear I was able to see the crucial role that the voluntary sector plays in supporting our community. For some people in our region they have to make a choice of whether to heat their homes or whether to eat. This is something which must be tackled at a community level, and the voluntary sector works hard to find, and then to help those most at need.

"Last year was a relatively mild winter and improvements have been made but we cannot rest on our laurels as one in nine homes will struggle to stay warm this winter. He added: "The winter fuel payment is a lifeline for many people but I would urge those who do not need it to recycle this payment and help local charities help people who do need that bit of extra support."

One organisation to benefit from the campaign last year was Carers Northumberland which received an award of PS2,660 to provide information and advice sessions to carers in Northumberland. …

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