NHS Kick-starts fund for vulnerable & fuel poor this winter

14 November 2011

NHS County Durham and Darlington has donated £5,000 to County Durham Community Foundation to kick-start an appeal to support the elderly and vulnerable through the difficult winter months.

The Surviving Winter Appeal, which is managed by County Durham Community Foundation, aims to recycle Winter Fuel Payments (WFP) to those who need it most. For many households the WFP is simply a welcome bonus to their income and is not truly needed to help them through the winter months. By asking these people to donate their WFP to the appeal, the Community Foundation can redistribute the money as grants to those who need it most.

For every additional winter death, there are an estimated eight admissions to hospital, 32 attendances at outpatients and 30 social service calls and the average cost to the NHS of someone with hypothermia is £13,000. NHS County Durham and Darlington believes that helping the most vulnerable and fuel poor to stay warm and healthy during the winter is extremely important and have generously agreed to kick-start the Surviving Winter Appeal in County Durham with a £5,000 donation.

Tim Wright, Public Health Portfolio Lead at NHS County Durham and Darlington said:
“The PCT recognises the scale of fuel poverty and excess winter deaths and the consequent impact on health inequalities. The burden of these additional seasonal deaths and increased attendance at hospitals and GP surgeries, when an individual’s health condition is exacerbated due to living in a cold damp home is not acceptable. This novel scheme will help to target the most vulnerable residents with a range of measures to assist to them address their circumstances.”

If you would like to follow suit and make a donation to the Surviving Winter Appeal, large or small, please fill in the form and send it, along with your donation, to FREEPSOT CDCF. All donations are welcome and will help the Community Foundation to support those who are in the most need this winter. To donate by text send WARM10 £10 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/cdf/donate to make an online donation. Donations from postcodes covered by neighbouring community foundations in Tees Valley, North Yorks or Tyne & Wear will be forwarded on to them for distribution as this is a national campaign covered by the community foundation movement.

To find out more about the Surviving Winter Campaign visit cdcf.org.uk/surviving-winter-appeal or follow @SurviveWinterNE.