Shropshire charity appeal launched to help households keep warm this winter
A Shropshire charity has launched its annual appeal to provide a‘lifeline’ to people in fuel poverty.
The Community Resource Warmer Winter Appeal provides grants to households in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin for emergency fuel, such as oil and logs, and for making energy-saving updates to people's homes.
In the last three years the appeal has raised more than £70,000.
While anyone is welcome to give their support, Community Resource particularly welcomes 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.
Bev Baxter, CEO of Community Resource, said: “As we head into winter, thousands of households in Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin are grappling with the harsh reality of fuel poverty, which not only endangers their wellbeing but also puts them at risk of illness and poor health.
“Rising energy prices and a growing cost of living crisis make it imperative that we prioritise the safety and warmth of the most vulnerable members of our community.
"Your contributions are a lifeline and can make the crucial difference, so people don’t have to make the heart-wrenching choice between heating their homes or putting food on their tables.”
Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show that in 2021, 18 per cent of households in Shropshire and 14.9 per cent in Telford and Wrekin were in fuel poverty.
But Community Resource believes it is likely that figure is higher.
“The latest figures for the county don’t show the impact the significant increase in energy prices had on people last winter, or the general cost-of-living crisis that has hit people across the board,” Bev added.
“And we see from the requests of support that the need is there and has grown.”
Community Resource collaborates with referral agencies to identify those in need, ensuring they receive essential support for energy payments and, when possible, benefit from insulation, draft exclusion, and other energy-efficient measures.
Last year one of those people was ‘Simon’, a man in his 50s battling cancer. ‘Simon’ underwent chemotherapy and endured cold dysesthesia, an extreme sensitivity to cooler temperatures. Staying warm was vital for him to withstand his treatment.
Unfortunately, Simon's sick pay had ceased, and he had transitioned to Universal Credit, which proved insufficient to cover his escalating fuel bills.
Community Resource was able to contribute to Simon's heating costs, enabling him to recover in the comfort of a warm home. The charity was also able to provide him with energy saving advice to ensure his bills are more manageable in the future, creating a long-term impact on this mental and physical welfare.
For more information on the Warmer Winter Appeal, including how to donate, visit justgiving.com/campaign/shropshirefuelpoverty.