Devon's Surviving Winter campaign receives £2,000 boost from Freemasons
Surviving Winter, an appeal coordinated locally by Devon Community Foundation has received a substantial donation from Devon Freemasons bringing the total raised to more than £13,000.
Martha Wilkinson received the £2,000 cheque donated on behalf of all Devon Freemasons by the Very Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury and Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Martha said: "This is a very generous donation from the Devon Freemasons and we are grateful for their support. Surviving Winter has been doing a tremendous amount of good in our communities this winter but there is still so much more we can do. This kind donation will help us reach the most in need in our local communities."
The Very Worshipful Brother Ian Kingsbury said: "I am delighted to be able to help such a worthwhile and important local project at this most difficult time of year for our older and most vulnerable residents."
The Surviving Winter campaign asks people who can afford to forgo their Winter Fuel Allowance to donate it to help the hundreds of vulnerable and older people affected by fuel poverty in Devon. Across Devon 17.6% of all households are living in fuel poverty and 600 older and vulnerable people are at risk of dying as a result of fuel poverty this winter.
One beneficiary from the Appeal is Friends of Southernhay House Surgery, who provide vital care for lonely and isolated people in the community. They received a financial boost for the next year, thanks to a £1,000 grant from Surviving Winter. Friends of Southernhay House Surgery offers care, comfort and support to the surgery's most vulnerable patients. They offer a transport service to medical appointments, a befriending service for patients who are alone and a shopping service to assist patients to remain independent in their own homes. They also run carers' support and bereavement support.
Volunteers' Coordinator, Susan Price said: "We help the most lonely and isolated people in the community, many of whom do not see anyone else from week to week. A volunteer will help them to get to appointments and wait with them, sometimes for hours, and take them shopping afterwards. These volunteers use their own cars but we have to pay for petrol and this is where we are always falling short. Patients pay a donation but it is not enough to cover all the costs.
Susan continued: "Other services that we offer are volunteers visiting patients at home, sometimes just to have a cup of tea and a chat. It is really sad that some people just do not have anyone else in their lives."
Celebrities who are supporting the campaign include Ann Widdecombe, Sir David Jason, Angela Rippon and Denise Robertson amongst others.
You can donate at www.justgiving.com/SurvivingWinter2012 or text WARM12 to 70070 to donate £10. Any money you donate will be spent locally to support older and vulnerable people in Devon.