Surviving Winter appeal launched by Bedfordshire charity to help vulnerable

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An appeal has been launched to help the vulnerable cope through the cold winter months.

It is being run by Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF), an independent charity providing support to local community groups and charities, many of whom are working with some of the county’s most vulnerable and in need.

BLCF are launching their Surviving Winter appeal to support those who may struggle with food or fuel poverty during the winter months by providing essential items such as blankets, food or even helping people pay their energy bills.

Francesca Johnstone, Head of Grantmaking at BLCF said: “We are asking the people and businesses of Bedfordshire to come together to support those in need and help them survive the winter months. For many people it can sometimes be a choice between heating or eating, this isn’t just something that affects old people, but also families and others in need. All donations raised will support those most vulnerable in the community, together we can make a real difference.”

Statistics suggest that around 700 older or vulnerable people in Bedfordshire die from illnesses related to or exacerbated by the cold each year. Older people or those suffering with illnesses such as cancer are at particular risk as they can find it more difficult to keep warm, but for many the rising energy prices means they can’t afford to keep the heating on.

On average 1 in 6 children in Bedfordshire are living in poverty, which is estimated to affect around 41,753 households. These families and others like them, with the additional costs associated with the cold weather can mean many parents having to make a choice between heating and eating.

BLCF have launched their Surviving Winter appeal to raise vital funds within the community which will be used in several ways; including giving small grants to not-for-profit groups working with disadvantaged people, provide winter survival packs to individuals and families living in poverty across Bedfordshire and also help vulnerable people pay their energy bills.

BLCF is partnering with key organisations who work at grassroots level to ensure the support is reaching those most in need, the appeal is running between November and March and aims to raise £20,000 to support individuals and families across the county.

To donate to this appeal, you can go online at blcf.org.uk/winter or, by texting ‘BLCF10’ £10