Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) has launched its annual winter appeal to help raise vital funds for those in most urgent need at this time of the year.

Research shows that more 55,000 people in Hertfordshire are living in fuel poverty, with cold homes putting them at risk of suffering illness, poor health and even death this winter.

Paul Robin, chief executive for Hertfordshire Community Foundation, said: “With the high cost of energy and more and more people impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, this year it is more important than ever that we make sure the most vulnerable people in our society are kept safe, warm and well.

We know times are tough for so many people, but if you can afford to help, your donations will make a real difference and make sure people get the support they need.

"We particularly welcome donations from people who receive the Winter Fuel Payment but may not require it and would like to give some or all of it to help those in their community who are struggling.”

Donations can be made:

Online via www.hertscf.org.uk

By bank transfer (Account Number 28592379, Sort code 60-10-39)

By cheque made payable to ‘Hertfordshire Community Foundation’ to HCF, Foundation House, 2-4 Forum Place, Fiddlebridge Road, Hatfield AL10 0RN.

Funds raised by the appeal will provide grants to smaller, local, community organisations and charities in the county.

This will help source items including food parcels and essentials items, sessions to support residents' mental health, advice to those facing financial hardship, as well as to help local community centres and charities to keep their heating and lights on.

Funding local causes, Hertfordshire Community Foundation is based in Fiddlebridge Road, Hatfield.

HCF is an independent charity that aims to encourage local philanthropy, the giving of time, resources or both by local people to help support their local communities.