Appeal to help Hertfordshire's most vulnerable survive winter as grant-giving charity says thousands of Stevenage and North Herts households live in fuel poverty
PUBLISHED: 08:45 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:14 16 November 2016
A charity is urging people to get behind its campaign to help older and vulnerable people this winter.
According to the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, 2,530 households in Stevenage and 4,403 households in North Herts live in fuel poverty.
The grant-giving charity, which tackles need and deprivation in the county, has launched its annual Surviving Winter campaign to raise money to help people who can’t afford to heat their homes or eat regular healthy, warm meals.
The foundation has come to the aid of many people since its inception in 1988.
Earlier this year, one woman from North Herts, who did not want to be identified, was told her cancer had returned and had spread.
She worried how her young children would cope with her being unwell during chemotherapy and her husband was forced to take unpaid leave to support his family.
The chemotherapy treatment left the woman feeling constantly cold, but they couldn’t afford to keep the heating on.
A £300 grant from the foundation meant the family could stay warm.
During winter last year, a single mum from North Herts was facing bankruptcy and was at risk of losing her home. She was stressed and severely depressed, which in turn affected her teenage daughter’s education and wellbeing.
Worried about where their next meal would come from, the foundation provided the family with a £300 grant to help relieve some of the pressure.
Jonathan Aves, the charity’s director, said: “Cold home temperatures and poor living conditions have an impact on people’s physical and mental health.
“Feeling cold can lead to increased blood pressure and a lower immune system resistance in older or vulnerable people, or those who have pre-existing health problems. This can lead to respiratory infections, which in some case can become life-threatening.
“We need your help to keep the vulnerable and older residents of Hertfordshire warm this winter. When the frosty wind bites and the damp air chills you to the bone, we urge you to think of those who are not able to warm up in a cosy home. If you can, please pledge your support to help local people in need to survive winter.”
Visit www.justgiving.com and search for ‘Hertfordshire Community Foundation’ or send a cheque made payable to Hertfordshire Community Foundation to Foundation House, 2-4 Forum Place, Fiddlebridge Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 0RN.
Anyone who would like to apply for Surviving Winter assistance, visit www.hertscf.org.uk or call 01707 251 351.