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Heart warming news from Norfolk’s Surviving Winter appeal to help vulnerable elderly

PUBLISHED: 06:35 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 06 December 2016

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An appeal to help our vulnerable elderly to stay warm this winter has raised almost £20,000.

As temperatures plummet, supporters have dug deep to help poor households struggling to pay their fuel bills. The EDP-backed Surviving Winter appeal, run by Norfolk Community Foundation and Age Concern Norfolk, encourages people who won’t need their winter fuel payment to donate it to help others.

Last year it raised more than £55,000, which was given out in grants to individuals and community groups like meals on wheels, lunch clubs and community transport projects.

One elderly woman helped by last year’s appeal said: “I’m just a pensioner trying to manage. The grant has alleviated the stress and worry about my winter gas bill this quarter last year it was £547. Without the grant I would have had to go into debt.”

Another added: “The grant was be a tremendous help towards my heating and lighting bills. I can use my heating without worrying about the cost. Without the grant I would have had a much colder winter.”

Anna Douglas, director of marketing and development with the community foundation, said money was coming into the appeal faster than last year.

“We have our donors who as soon as they receiver their winter fuel payment will send us a cheque,” she said. “It’s become something people are familiar with. We’ve also had quite a lot of money through the Virginmoney site. That’s quite a new thing for us, because our donor base doesn’t naturally go online to give money.”

Grants have helped to buy gas bottles, coal and wood, heating oil, portable heaters, cookers and microwaves, as well as low-cost heating repairs or replacement radiators and night storage heaters.

Even if you don’t receive a winter fuel payment, you can still make a donation. To give online, click here.

To apply for help, call Age UK Norfolk on 0300 500 1217.

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