DORSET residents have donated tens of thousands of pounds to people in fuel poverty after an appeal was launched asking people to donate their winter fuel payments.

To help older people struggling to stay warm this winter Dorset Council, the Dorset Community Foundation and Citizens Advice launched an appeal asking people to donate any winter fuel payments they did not need to help others.

Following the appeal, kind-hearted people raised a total of £75,000, with the funds allocated to Citizens Advice which is distributing Surviving Winter grants to the households that are in fuel poverty.

Cllr Laura Miller, Cabinet member for Customer and Community Services at Dorset Council, said: “Winter often places additional pressures on households, especially families and vulnerable older people.

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“But thanks to the generous donations from Dorset residents, more people in need have stayed warm this winter.

“Working with Dorset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter appeal, individual grants of up to £200 have been distributed for people who face the choice between eating well and keeping homes warm.”

According to government estimates, there are 19,000 people in Dorset living in fuel poverty – meaning they cannot afford to heat their homes.

With energy prices continuing to rise, even more older people will be left cold in their homes and exposed to the risks that arise when body temperatures drop too low.

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The donations collected from the appeal will help vulnerable older people stay warm over the coming months.

Kate Pryce, Energy Project Manager, Citizens Advice, said: “As energy prices continue to rise, we are very concerned about older people being able to afford to heat their homes.

“We are really grateful for the donations received which has enabled us to keep helping those households who are struggling to heat their homes.”

In addition, Dorset Council was awarded over £2 million from the Government’s Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households across the county in need of financial support.

This enabled one-off winter energy vouchers of £200 to be allocated to 3,500 households in receipt of Universal Credit with limited capability for work, or earnings below the free school meals threshold by the end of 2021.


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