GLASTONBURY Festival founder Michael Eavis has joined a campaign to help elderly people avoid fuel poverty this winter.

Mr Eavis has joined the likes of Taunton Mayor Vivienne Stock-Williams and the Bishop of Bath and Wells in endorsing the 2016/17 Surviving Winter appeal managed by Somerset Community Foundation.

Now in its seventh year, Surviving Winter asks pensioners who can live without their Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to help local older people struggling with the cost of staying warm and socially connected.

To date nearly £80,000 has been kindly donated by local pensioners, but Somerset Community Foundation still needs a further £20,000 to reach its target of helping 500 vulnerable older people this winter.

"Nationally, around 5 per cent of pensioner households are “fuel poor”, which means that around 3,000 households in Somerset don’t have enough money to sufficiently heat their homes to stay warm and healthy all winter," said a campaign spokesman.

"The gap between what they need to spend and what they do spend on heating to stay warm enough is around £460.

"A grant from the Surviving Winter campaign can make all the difference to an older person living alone, in a stone home that is difficult to keep warm."

To donate some or all of your Winter Fuel Payment, please send a cheque made payable to Somerset Community Foundation (write SW on the back), Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN or donate online at