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Charity says 300 Cumbrians die from cold every year

The January 2015 Big Sleep Credit: ITV Border

The charity at the heart of the Winter Warmth Fund says as many as 300 people die in Cumbria because of the cold weather every year.

Cumbria Community Foundation is running the campaign for the sixth year running, over which time it's raised around £300,000 to keep more than 2,500 people warm in the winter months.

The money raised is given out in grants to older people who are having to choose whether to eat a meal or to heat their homes.

The charity points to stats released by the Cumbria Health Observatory, which uses data from 2013:

Households in Cumbria are estimated to be in fuel poverty
Of all households in the county, above the national average

The charity's flagship event is the Big Sleep, which takes place January 30, 2016.

Every winter, in every corner of Cumbria, there are older people who are struggling to keep warm. I can’t bear the fact that they are choosing between eating and heating and hope our community will once again, share their warmth thiswinter. Please donate to our Winter Warmth Fund.

We will also be hosting our Big Sleep on Saturday 30 January 2016 - where people ask their friends and family to sponsor them to spend a night sleeping under the stars in a field behind the Low Wood Resort Hotel in Windermere.”

– Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation


Winter Warmth Appeal launches

A campaign to keep older people warm over winter launches today.

The Winter Warmth Appeal raised more than £100,000 for elderly people in the region last year.

Its flagship event is the Big Sleep, a sleep over in a field in south Cumbria, which takes place on February 7.

And tonight the Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, Andy Beeforth, will be sleeping in a bed - on Windermere - to raise awareness.

“Every year 300 elderly people in Cumbria die because they can’t afford to heat their homes throughout the winter and that is why appeals like the Winter Warmth are so important.

"The Big Sleep is a fun way for people to raise money and help reduce this number. If we can manage to sleep on Lake Windermere and not fall out, it will be easy to sleep out one night on the Low Wood’s fell side."

– Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive

Winter warmth fund: Full report

With the days getting shorter and colder, theres a warning that 300 people die every year in Cumbria because of cold weather. A campaign has been launched today, to keep older people warm this winter.

It's run by the Cumbria Community Foundation. Last year, it raised forty two thousand pounds and helped over four hundred people. This year, the aim is to do even more for those who are struggling to heat their homes. Andy Burn reports.

Thousands raised by Winter warmth Fund

Andy Beeforth, Director of Cumbria Community Foundation, explains the difference the Winter Warmth Fund has made:

"In the first year we raised and distributed a pot of £10,000. Last year our donations quadrupled, bringing in £42,000 which directly helped 433 pensioners in need. We're hoping people will be generous so we can help even more older people this winter."

– Andy Beeforth, Director Cumbria Community Foundation
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