Charity sets a 250k target for fundraising

06 December 2010

A CHARITY is hoping to raise £250,000 to help vulnerable people in the North-East this winter.

County Durham Community Foundation is urging pensioners who feel they do not need their £250 winter fuel allowance, to follow in the footsteps of millionaire entrepreneur Peter Stringfellow, who recently offered to return his payment.

The benefit is given to all people over 60.

The foundation launched its campaign for the Winter Relief Fund in The Northern Echo on Saturday, starting the fund with £10,000.

Now, it is hoping 1,000 people will donate their £250 allowance to raise £250,000. The fund will be distributed to help charities buy equipment and food for elderly or homeless people this winter.

Following the launch, more people have come forward to pledge their support.

The latest person to donate a winter fuel allowance is Andrew Martell, a former High Sheriff and deputy lieutenant of County Durham.

Mr Martell, who works in investment management and lives with his wife, Shelagh, in Shotley Bridge, County Durham, has been a trustee of County Durham Community Foundation for seven years and is chairman of St John Ambulance.

Barbara Gubbins, foundation chief executive, said: “We are asking members of the public who are entitled to receive their winter fuel allowance, but who don’t need the money as much as others, to donate it to the foundation to grow this vital fund.

“All monies received will be given out as grants to groups working with the most vulnerable members of society.

“If 1,000 people give £250, we will raise £250,000. That would be fantastic. We have already raised £12,500 in two days.

“If people cannot afford to donate £250, any amount would be of great help.”

To donate, contact the foundation on 0191-378-6345 or email Cheques, payable to County Durham Community Foundation and marked on the reverse Winter Relief Fund, can be sent to the foundation at Victoria House, Whitfield Court, St John’s Road, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham, DH7 8XL. Visit for information about the charity.