600 elderly people in Devon are at risk of dying
as a result of fuel poverty this winter.*
And that is not all, for every additional winter death, there are an estimated eight admissions to hospital, 32 attendances at outpatient care and 30 social service calls. That’s 4,800 hospital admissions, 19,200 outpatients and 18,000 social service calls in Devon each year. In addition the Department of Energy and Climate Change calculates that 17.6% of all households in Devon are living in fuel poverty.
Last winter, many people suffering fuel poverty remained confined to one room in an attempt to keep themselves warm. Retired widower David said “If it gets far too cold, I go to bed. Last winter I spent more time in bed than I did downstairs.” Beyond the hospital admissions and social service visits it is known that relieving cold and debt (for example, from energy bills) could reduce depression by half and visits to general practitioners by a quarter.
In response to this need and as part of a national programme we are launching a Devon Surviving Winter Appeal.
What can you do to help?
Devon Community Foundation is asking you to consider donating your Winter Fuel Payment to help those who desperately need extra support during the winter. If you feel you could afford to forego your Winter Fuel Payment to the Surviving Winter Appeal or would like to help in anywayplease click here.
Funds raised will be re-directed to elderly and vulnerable people in Devon to help them keep their homes warm and to alleviate the effects of fuel poverty.
*Based on Devon elderly population figures, national fuel poverty death statistics and Age UK’s Fuel Poverty Devon report