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Winter appeal to tackle fuel and food poverty in Hertfordshire

Raising vital funds to help local residents who are having to choose between heating or eating.
Rising energy costs, low incomes and energy-inefficient housing are some of the driving factors behind 8.7% of homes in Hertfordshire – roughly one in 11 –being classified as 'fuel poor'*. Fuel poverty means a household’s energy costs are above average and their remaining disposable income after paying their bills puts them below the poverty line.

For people struggling to afford to heat their homes, it is not only about being uncomfortable. Research shows that cold home temperatures have an impact on physical and mental health. Being cold can lead to increased blood pressure and a lower immune system resistance, which in turn can lead to respiratory infections. In some cases, these can become life-threatening. Sadly between August 2014 and July 2017 it was reported that over 2,100 people** in Hertfordshire died due to poor living conditions in winter.

The effects of fuel poverty can be devastating and lead to social isolation, poorer physical and mental health, lower educational achievement and rationing of food and other essentials.

Hertfordshire Community Foundation is a charity that believes in the power of local communities coming together to help those in crisis. By encouraging and enabling local philanthropy they provide support, in the form of small grants, to Hertfordshire residents in need, and the charitable organisations that work with them.

Each year Hertfordshire Community Foundation conducts a winter appeal to raise money to help those most in need in the county to stay warm and well during the coldest months. By working with local partners Hertfordshire Community Foundation ensures that support, in the form of grants, goes directly to those who desperately need it in a simple, quick and cost-effective way.

Helen Gray, Foundation Director for Hertfordshire Community Foundation says: “Each year Hertfordshire Community Foundation sees an increase in the demand for support from this appeal. We hear of families who are forced to choose between buying food and paying their rent. Of terminally ill individuals who are constantly cold but can’t afford to heat their homes sufficiently and of elderly people who are anxious about how they will afford their heating bills each month.

The roll-out of Universal Credit, rising fuel prices and higher costs of living are all resulting in more people struggling in Hertfordshire. Our winter appeal provides much needed support. Donations of any size are welcome and every penny raised stays within Hertfordshire. The appeal is also a great way for those that receive the Winter Fuel Allowance, and don’t need it to pay their own bills, to help someone else.”

Donations can be made via Hertfordshire Community Foundation’s website www.hertscf.org.uk, by bank transfer to Account Number 28592379 Sort code 60-10-39 or by sending a cheque made payable to ‘Hertfordshire Community Foundation’ to HCF, Foundation House, 2-4 Forum Place, Fiddlebridge Road, Hatfield AL10 0RN


* Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Sub Regional Fuel Poverty England 2019 (2017 data) report
** Office for National Statistics report on Excess winter deaths for local/unitary authorities in England and Wales, 1991/1992 to 2016/2017

For more information please contact Danielle Hood, Marketing Office for Hertfordshire Community Foundation on 01707 251351 or danielle.hood@hertscf.org.uk

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