Project information

Surviving Winter in the South West

People who receive the Winter Fuel Payment but do not need it can donate it through the South West network of community foundations tograssroots organisations working with those who suffer the greatest hardship in Winter.

November 2011 - April 2012

Charity information

Somerset Community Foundation

Somerset Community Foundation logo
  • Need


    An increasing number of vulnerable households - more than 1 in 5 - are in fuel poverty. For many, this means making a choice between eating or heating, between going out or becoming isolated. For the elderly in particular, but also those with serious health problems, teh consequences can be particularly dire. Local organisations are ideally placed to provide essential services and financial support, when and where it is most needed.


    By re-directing Winter Fuel Payments to community organisations, they can stregthen their services. For example, they might be able to providfe additional community transport services, they may be able to put on an extra lunch club every week.

    These organisations are closest to those most in need, so they are also ideally placed to provide direct financial support to people who simply cannot afford to stay warm in their own home at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To alleviate the winter-related suffering and hardship experienced by the most vulnerable people.


    » Supporting the work of local charities and community organisations to reach the most vulnerable households, particularly the elderly during the winter

    Success will be measured by the improvement in the quality of life during winter for those in receipt of funded services and finanical support.

  • Impact


    Participating organisations will also be given access to information about other ways they can help, in particular to ensure that each household accesses the benefits they are entitled to, and the grants available to help increase the energy efficiency of their homes.


    A change in Government policy on the Winter Fuel Payment would undermine the potential to raise funds. At this stage, however, the Government is committed to keeping the universal status for this benefit.

    We also piloted the approach successfully in Somerset last year.


    Each donor will receive either directly or electroncially a report about the success of the Surviving Winter appeal in their county, outlining funds raised, grants awarded and impact on individual lives.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £350,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £300,000 Grants Grants will be awarded to community organisations
      £50,000 Support Support to help community organisations maximise their impact

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    SCF 2011 Reserve £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Although hosted by Somerset Community Foundation, funds raised through the BigGive will be distributed to each donor's local community foundation. So, for example, a Somerset resident's donation will stay with the Somerset Community Foundation, a Dorset resident's donation will be passed on to Dorset Community Foundation.


    A wide range of people are suffer hardship during the winter. The elderly are particularly vulnerable and they are the main focus for our supoprt. Others with serious underlying health conditions (particularly respiratory or coronary) are important also. However low income households of all ages can suffer greatly as energy prices increase. By using local community organisations, we will reach those who are most vulnerable.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    As a Community Foundation we are ideally placed to reach a very wide range of 'frontline' community organisations capable of reaching those who we need to support.

    The South West network of Community Foundations has a strong track record in working together and we will use our experience from the first appeal to support the delivery across the region.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Justin Sargent

    Justin is the Director of Somerset Community Foundation and devised, designed and ran the successful Surviving Winter pilot in 2010/11


Helps a vulnerable household stay warm this winter

An elderly couple were having to live in one an effort to keep warm

Grant Recipient 2010/11