Norfolk Community Foundation would like to thank everyone who has supported and donated to the Surviving Winter appeal over the past few months. The appeal has raised almost £124,000 so far – the most the appeal has ever raised by over £68,500.

The Surviving Winter appeal tackles winter poverty and isolation in Norfolk by providing essential support to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Those who have faced very real challenges include older people, those who are disabled, people with chronic medical conditions, the homeless and families and children living in low income households. The aim is not to just to help prevent crisis, but also to help people plan ahead and find their way to a more positive future in the long term.

Through the generosity of the public and businesses, the appeal has made a significant difference to these vulnerable groups, including:

  • £11,373.14 has been provided to 58 households to help them with the cost of fuel, or contributions towards boiler replacements and fuel debt
  • Age UK Norfolk’s telephone befriending service has been helping to combat isolation over the winter months. The service offers approximately 200 people aged 60 and over companionship by phone with a local volunteer or befriending coordinator. They receive a weekly call for an enjoyable and stimulating chat and can also take part in a fun quiz, all of which can help to ease feelings of loneliness and isolation. The service is a critical part of a broader package of support, from where isolated and vulnerable older people can be signposted to receive further support, such as advice and information on claiming benefits they are entitled to
  • Across Norfolk, foodbanks have issued 202 fuel vouchers, helping 302 adults and 200 children. In addition, £3,500 worth of ‘winter packs’ have been distributed to those in need which included socks, gloves, hats etc.
  • 14 homeless people have been helped via St Martins’ Street Break scheme; 9 have now settled into appropriate accommodation and 5 are still being housed using the fund, awaiting a suitable offer of accommodation
  • In addition, 19 grants worth over £63,000 have been distributed to other local organisations to support their work with vulnerable groups on the frontline. These include charities supporting people with learning disabilities, deprived communities and isolated older people through the cold winter months.
This year’s Surviving Winter appeal could not have helped so many people without the support of the local community, showing what can be achieved by people joining together to help the less fortunate. Together, Norfolk shines brighter.