Thanks to generous donations from residents in Dorset, over £75K have been raised to help older people struggling to stay warm this winter.

Dorset Council, working closely with The Dorset Community Foundation and Citizens Advice launched an appeal earlier this year asking people to donate any winter fuel payments they did not need to help others being able to afford heating their homes without scrimping on food.

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

As energy prices continue to rise, even more older people will be left cold in their homes and exposed to the risks arising from their body temperature dropping too low. But thanks to the generous donations, more vulnerable older people in need will stay warm over the coming months.

The funds have been allocated to Citizens Advice who are distributing Surviving Winter grants to those households who 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.

“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.”

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.

Citizens Advice energy advisers can help those who might be eligible for a grant. Email [email protected]  or leave a message on 01929 775500.

If you need support and want to talk to an adviser, please contact Citizens Advice Dorset Adviceline on 0800 144 8848.

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