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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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A welcome fund that fights the cold war

AS THE clocks go back we’re hit by the harsh reality that winter is almost upon us.

It’s a time of year which many old people in particular dread; the cold, the dark, and ever mounting fuel bills.

As many as 300 people are reported to die in Cumbria every winter because of the cold weather.

That’s why the Winter Warmth Fund, launched this week by the Cumbria Community Foundation, is so important.

It calls on people to donate unwanted winter fuel payments for redistribution among those most in need.

Last winter £42,000 was raised to directly support 433 pensioners.

The fund raises awareness of this serious problem just as the energy companies are yet again hiking up their prices.

Everyone over 60 is entitled to the Government’s winter fuel payment, but for too many old people the choice is between fuel or food.

This winter there are more than six million UK households said to be living in fuel poverty; around two thirds are in rural areas.

The Government continues to make noises about curbing the power companies and making energy tariffs cheaper and easier to understand for people.

But we fear it’s too late to make a difference this winter.

For too many people, the cold war is back again and only the initiative and generosity of something like the Winter Warmth Fund will have any effect.

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