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Project information

Surviving Winter

Surviving Winter was started by people who wanted to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to help others in Somerset less fortunate than themselves.

Grants are distributed to older people in need to help them stay warm, active and healthy.

November 2018 - March 2019

Charity information: Somerset Community Foundation

Somerset Community Foundation logo
  • Need


    1 in 8 Somerset households live in fuel poverty;

    On average, there are 330 winter-related deaths each year in Somerset;

    1 in 6 older people in Somerset feel isolated.


    A grant from Surviving Winter can help to alleviate some of these problems, while also serving to put isolated people in touch with those that can support them during the year.

    Grants are often use to help pay utility bills, but they are also used to pay for transport or to attend activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help older Somerset residents through the winter months.


    » We will raise funds and, with the support of our local charity partners, distribute them to those most in need.

    What success will look like

    We collect data and case studies on those who receive grants via our partners.

  • Impact


    More of our grants are being used to address the root causes of cold homes through investments in simple energy efficiency measures. We expect this to take a larger role in 2018/19. We intend to monitor the energy usage of a small sample of our grant recipients to understand the benefits of this approach.


    Donations to Surviving Winter are fairly weather dependent, with cold spells resulting in a noticeable increase in gifts. A mild winter is therefore likely to reduce the overall total.


    We report back the number and value of grants awarded, their distribution across our county, and any case studies that we have collected.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Campaign All costs are covered by Gift Aid.
  • Background


    The project takes place across the county of Somerset. We are a largely rural county, which results in fairly poor access to services and high levels of isolation and loneliness among older people. Pockets of deprivation exist next to areas of affluence.


    Older people, 60+, who struggle to afford to heat their home adequately and/or maintain a reasonable standard of living this winter. We aim to reach 500 people each year.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We initiated Surviving Winter in Somerset some years ago and it has since been adopted by community foundations elsewhere in the country. As the Community Foundation for Somerset we are well placed to coordinate a wide range of donors and partner organisations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sue Wheeler

    External communications

    Mary Hancock

    Prospect research

    Andrew Ridgewell

    Grants manager