As the seasonal chill sets in, with temperatures plummeting, here’s a message from Heart of Bucks Winter Warmth:
We can often take for granted the comfort of returning to a warm home and putting the kettle on after a chilly commute or a day working outside in the cold.
For some people in Buckinghamshire, however, this is simply a luxury they cannot afford. With the cost of energy bills steadily rising, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have projected that over 10% of UK households will be living in fuel poverty this winter.
A household is considered to be ‘fuel poor’, and its inhabitants living in fuel poverty, if it has higher than typical energy costs and would be left with a disposable income below the poverty line if it spent the required money to meet those costs.
So what can you do to help local, vulnerable people fighting to keep out the cold this winter?
Every year, thousands of eligible individuals are paid a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’ by the government. You will receive this payment this year if you were born on or before 5 April 1954 and if you receive a State Pension or another social security benefit as detailed on the gov.uk website.
This is an allowance between £100 and £300 to contribute to household heating bills, however as this payment is not means tested, this means that the payment can often go to households who do not struggle to pay their fuel bills.
The Heart of Bucks Winter Warmth campaign is encouraging people who receive this payment and are able to pay their heating bills to donate it to those who find the winter months particularly challenging.
The people who would benefit from your donation include older people, lone parents with children under the age of five and households requiring additional heating because of a household member with a disability.
Even a portion of your Winter Fuel Payment would be gratefully received by those in need. If you are able to help, you can donate online at www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/winterwarmth or send a cheque made payable to ‘Heart of Bucks’ to: Heart of Bucks Winter Warmth, Sunley House (4th floor), Oxford Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8FQ.