1. ITV Report

Sheffield pensioners urged to donate fuel payments

Pensioners in Sheffield who are better off are being urged to donate their fuel payments to those most in need.

Credit: Press Association

Age UK wants to prevent up to 250 people dying prematurely from the cold in the city this winter.

The charity says winter fuel payments, which are paid automatically to all older people living in their own homes, often go to people who can already afford to heat their homes.

It is appealing for those who can to donate their payments, so it can better support the estimated 14,000 older people in Sheffield who live in poor quality, damp or draughty housing.

It's thought that 50,000 older people in Sheffield live in fuel poverty, with one in seven admitting they go to bed to keep warm and save heating costs despite not feeling tired.

Winter fuel payments are literally a lifeline to thousands of older people in Sheffield each year.

But because the payments are made automatically, no matter how rich or poor someone is, we're appealing to those who can afford to, to donate their payment to us so that we can do more to help those most in need.

We will use any money we receive to support our work providing information and advice to an older person suffering from the cold this winter.

We know that there is a strong relationship between poor insulation and heating of houses, low indoor temperature and excess winter deaths of older people.

So anything more we can do to support the thousands of older people in Sheffield who are living in these conditions has the potential to save lives.

– Steve Chu, Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive