Generous donations have helped a North East campaign to aid elderly people with fuel poverty reach the £15,000 mark.
The Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter campaign is celebrating after donations reached £15,265 just over a month after launching.
The campaign encourages those who receive the winter fuel payment but do not need it to donate their grant to help support other people in the region out of fuel poverty this winter.
Staff at the Foundation are delighted with the success of this year’s campaign which has become the most successful since it started two years ago.
Rob Williamson, chief executive of the Community Foundation, said: “This year, the Surviving Winter appeal had got off to a flying start and the total is well ahead of the position this time last year.
“We are very grateful to everyone who had contributed to this appeal so far and we would ask people to keep on giving because there is tremendous need for this kind of support in our communities.”
The Journal is backing the campaign which has gained the support of the former police chief constable Crispian Strachan, who donated his winter fuel payment and called on others who could afford to donate to do the same.
Last year, with the help of The Journal, the Community Foundation raised more than £20,000 to help groups that support older and vulnerable people through the winter.
The campaign, which goes on until the end of March, looks set to be even more successful than before.
One of the groups to have benefited from the money donated is The Cedarwood Trust, based in the Meadow Well area of North Shields, North Tyneside.
The success of the campaign to help elderly people in the North East comes after a survey for Saga revealed one in 10 pensioners is being forced to stay in bed longer to keep warm as a result of rising fuel bills.
Meanwhile, one in eight said they planned to stop using some parts of their homes in the cold weather to keep energy bills down.
More than 12,000 people over the age of 50, including almost 8,000 people who have retired, across Britain answered the survey for Saga.
If you would like to donate to the Surviving Winter campaign, visit www.justgiving.com/SurvivingWinterCFTWN , call 0191 222 0945 to make a donation by card, or post cheques payable to Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to Surviving Winter, Community Foundation, Freepost NEA 11784, NE1 1BR.