A Bristol organisation has launched a campaign to support young and old through winter.
The Surviving Winter Appeal has been launched by the Quartet Community Foundation to support a network of local charities whose work helps local people who are experiencing fuel poverty, isolation and acute financial pressures during winter.
The Quartet Community Foundation has been running the annual Surviving Winter appeal for a decade and calls on those people who feel they can afford it to donate their Winter Fuel Payment, or to make a financial contribution, to help local older people.
Last winter alone this appeal raised over £19,000 for local projects which support vulnerable people through the winter months.
In a statement, the foundation said: “This year, as the government warns of a difficult winter ahead, Quartet Community Foundation is conscious of the additional pressures on local charities and the people who rely on them.
“Many households who were already struggling to make ends meet are facing a perfect storm as fuel and food prices rise just as incomes are squeezed further.
“It’s going to be a very difficult Christmas for many local households.”
The foundation said that advice services in particular are experiencing a surge in demand as people turn to them, in desperate need of support.
This year Quartet is expanding the Surviving Winter Appeal to benefit even more people, including struggling families, as well as the many thousands of local older people in need.
The money raised through the Surviving Winter Appeal will enable Quartet to direct grants to local charities addressing fuel poverty, isolation and financial pressures over winter.
Winter is always a tough time, but this year the colder months will be even more challenging for many families in Bristol.
A perfect storm of problems is hitting the country right now, from rocketing energy bills to the removal of the £20-a-week uplift of Universal Credit.
This comes in the context of Bristol having 41 areas in the most deprived 10 per cent in England, according to the latest data from the council, including .
A total of 70,800 people – 15 per cent of residents in Bristol – live in these most deprived areas.
Figures also show that, in Bristol, 15,400 children under the age of 16 live in relative low-income families and that 19,600 households were estimated to experience fuel poverty in Bristol in 2018, which is 9.8 per cent of the city’s households.
At the same time, around four per cent of households in Bristol experienced moderate to severe food insecurity in the last 12 months, according to the council data.
That is why we have launched Benefit Bristol – a campaign we will be running over the next few months to highlight some of the support available to Bristol’s most disadvantaged families.
We will be speaking with the staff and volunteers who help run these organisations, as well as the people who use them.
If you would like to be featured, or know any organisation we should include, you can contact our reporter directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
“As we head into Winter, so many people face difficult choices including whether to heat or eat and the long dark winter evenings can make people feel even more isolated and alone,” the organisation continued.
“Our local charities are also predicting a surge in demand for their services, including access to emergency support and information and advice about how to manage growing money problems.”
Suzanne Rolt, CEO Quartet Community Foundation, said often those with the least bear the brunt of these crises.
She said: “This could be working families who were just about keeping their heads above water before the fuel price hike came along and now have to choose between food or heating; or older people coping with health issues who always struggle to heat their homes as temperatures start to drop.
“Over the last 18 months we’ve seen just how effective local organisations can be in responding at speed to a major crisis, offering support to the people we live alongside.
“We plan to work hand in hand with the fantastic local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations across Bristol, B&NES, North Somerset and South Glos to provide vital support in our communities.
“To do this we need your help. So we’re asking people to consider donating their Winter Fuel Payment, or to make a one-off donation, to help make a real difference to so many vulnerable people this winter.”
You can donate to the Surviving Winter appeal.
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