Winter appeal launches to help people in Hertfordshire living in poverty
PUBLISHED: 06:59 04 December 2018
An appeal has been launched to help people in Hertfordshire who are struggling to make ends meet to keep warm and well this winter, and a high demand for help has already been received.
Grant-giving charity the Hertfordshire Community Foundation is asking for financial donations to help feed a child, provide a warm meal for somebody homeless, help an elderly resident stay warm, or to put towards buying an essential applicance for a family in crisis.
Government statistics show that in Hertfordshire more than 32,000 homes are estimated to live in fuel poverty, and between August 2013 and July 2016 there were 1,795 excess winter deaths in the county.
The foundation also says 10 per cent of the county’s population live in an area of deprivation, and more than 30,000 Hertfordshire children are living below the poverty line.
Helen Gray, the foundation’s director, said: “It is not only people experiencing homelessness who are affected by the colder weather. A redundancy, benefit change or delay, or even an unexpected bill, can be devastating for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet.
“The freezing temperatures bring added pressure and many may be forced to choose between heating or eating.
“We use our local knowledge and research to ensure all donations go where they are needed most.
“Donations of any size are welcome. If you receive the Winter Fuel Allowance and don’t need it to pay your own bills, our winter appeal is a great way to help someone else.”
Last year, the foundation’s winter appeal helped many people, including a self-employed carpenter who did not want to be named.
When he seperated from his partner, who was an alcoholic and unable to care for their 18-month-old daughter, he fought to have his daughter placed with him, but he had to reduce the number of hours he worked to care for her.
When he wasn’t able to claim the benefits he anticipated, his financial circumstances quickly became dire. He received a grant through the foundation’s partners the Citizens’ Advice Bureau towards his fuel costs. Without this help he would not have been able to keep his home warm for his daughter.
To make a donation, visit hertscf.org.uk.