The High Sheriff of Rutland and Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation have launched this year’s Surviving Winter appeal.
Surviving Winter started as a way to pass on Winter Fuel Payments to those in need because many people felt they didn’t need additional money and wanted to pass it on to others in the local community.
The campaign quickly grew to welcome donations of any amount from any age which are directed to local charities supporting vulnerable people in need of food and warmth in the winter months.
One in seven households are currently suffering from fuel poverty and in Leicestershire and Rutland, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of people and children who have needed help with food poverty in the last two years.
The High Sheriff, Andrew Brown, is leading the campaign in Rutland and all money raised through Surviving Winter will go to Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland and Charity Link.
He is asking people to consider donating whatever they can spare this winter with suggestions including an amount equivalent to a monthly fuel bill or a basket of groceries. Donations will support families and the elderly in crisis for everything from food parcels, hot water bottles, heating bills to help with leaks or boiler repairs.
Mr Brown said: “It is so important to remember that even though Rutland is perceived as an affluent and well heeled county there are residents who suffer poverty and hardship just as much as those who live in urban areas, but it is often hidden here in Rutland behind a tall hedge or down a dead end lane.
“We have had a very mild start to the winter season but that may change and the cold weather can quickly take its toll.
“Please give what you can to help our fellow Rutlanders who may be less well off than ourselves and prevent unnecessary suffering.”
Last year’s donations helped Jean who was referred by her social worker seeking assistance towards utility bills.
She suffers from epilepsy, osteoporosis and low blood pressure and has just moved into her own flat after a period of living with her daughter.
She was given £100 to help towards heating her home over the winter.
To support this year’s campaign, call 0116 262 4916 to request a donation form or visit the website and select High Sheriff of Rutland Fund.