NORTHUMBRIAN Water has become the first local business to pledge its support for the Surviving Winter Campaign with a £500 donation to help those in fuel poverty.
Yesterday The Journal reported how rising fuel prices and the recession are combining to create a “perfect storm” of deepening fuel poverty for vulnerable people in the North East.
Charity National Energy Action warned of “increased debt, desperation and deprivation” for those who have to choose between food and heat.
Northumbrian Water chose to back the Surviving Winter campaign as it sits well with its own Beat the Freeze campaign to help avoid the misery of frozen or burst pipes as temperatures plummet.
Northumbrian Water’s Cara Charlton said: “We work closely with all three community foundations in our region and are pleased to be able to support them in raising awareness of a very important issue and to have another means of informing our customers how they can avoid frozen or leaking pipes in their homes and businesses.”
Now The Journal is calling on the business community to follow in Northumbrian Water’s footsteps, as well as reaching out to individuals to help smash the £30,000 raised last year for the Community Foundation’s campaign.
It’s calling on those who can afford it to donate their £200 winter fuel allowance which is given to all pensioners regardless of income. But you don’t need to be a pensioner or even pledge as much as £200, as any size of donation will be greatly appreciated.
All the money raised will help fuel poor households in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, who struggle to heat their homes in winter and risk acute illness as a result.
Rob Williamson of the Community Foundation said: “The Surviving Winter Campaign is appealing to anyone who would like to support older and vulnerable people through winter.
“Fuel poverty is prevalent in vulnerable households including disabled or elderly people and people suffering from long-term illnesses. “It aims to support people out of fuel poverty through hardship grants and education sessions and donations of any size are welcome.”