Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau urge those who can afford it to donate winter fuel payments

RESIDENTS are being asked to donate their winter fuel allowance this Christmas – vital cash which will go back into helping people who need it in the district.

Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau, backed by the Reporter, is urging people who feel they can do without their winter fuel allowance to make a donation in order to help those in this area who might be struggling.

The call comes in the same week E.On announced it would be hiking up prices by 8.7 per cent – meaning all of the major energy providers have now announced rises this winter for UK domestic customers.

“There is no access to mains gas in parts of Uttlesford and much of the housing stock is old with poor levels of energy efficiency. Many elderly people need all the help they can get to keep their homes warm,” said Kate Robson, manager at Uttlesford CAB.

“Some are faced with the stark choice of fuel or food, and colder weather increases the risk of health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and bronchitis.”

At the present time anyone born before July 5, 1951 is eligible for winter fuel payment regardless of income, which amounts to �200 if you are over 60 and �300 if you are over 80.

“If you can spare all or part of your payment this year, please consider making a donation,” added Mrs Robson.

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“The CAB would channel extra funding to help people save money on heating costs, including access to help with insulation; understand what financial help is available and manage any fuel-related debt.

“We are running our successful door-knocking scheme again in March which offers support and information with a special emphasis on how to cope during cold weather.”

Uttlesford CAB has reported this week that two people have already donated their fuel payment… and the charity is hoping more will follow suit.