OVER £100,000 has been raised to help vulnerable people heat their homes across Somerset within a month of a campaign launching. 

Somerset Community Foundation started its 2022/23 Surviving Winter appeal in November, backed by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis.

The appeal encourages pensioners to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel Payment if they do not need it themselves.

Demand has risen this year and grants are being distributed across the county in grants of up to £500 to help older people stay warm and safe amid soaring bills.

Somerset County Gazette: Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has backed the campaign.Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has backed the campaign. (Image: Somerset Community Foundation)

Laura Blake, SCF’s philanthropy director, said: “We’ve been astounded by the magnitude of support we’ve received for the Surviving Winter appeal so far this year, particularly in light of the cost-of-living crisis.

“We’ve seen many donors generously passing on their larger Winter Fuel Payment, and others donating their monthly energy rebate.

“We’re hugely grateful to each and every person who has donated - and particularly those who donate year after year.

“Without your support, we know lots of older people in Somerset would be suffering in silence during these long, cold winter months.”

To donate to the Surviving Winter appeal, visit www.somersetcf.org.uk/special-projects/surviving-winter or call 01749 344949.

Alternatively, a donation form is available to download from the Somerset Community Foundation website.

Cheques to Somerset Community Foundation (with SW written on the back) can be sent to Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN.