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Regional daily’s winter campaign raises £80k

A campaign by a regional daily to help vulnerable people survive the cold winter weather has raised £80,000.

The East Anglian Daily Times launched its Surviving Winter initiative to help people struggling with their heating bills, in a bid to prevent unnecessary illnesses or deaths.

Its campaign has raised £80,000 and donations are still coming in, meaning it has already outdone the £55,000 raised when the Archant title ran the appeal last year.

The initiative has been run in partnership with Age UK Suffolk and The Suffolk Foundation, with support from the East of England Co-operative Society, and urges those who are less in need to donate some or all of their winter fuel payments.

The campaign is launched by, from left, Amanda Long, from the East of England Co-operative Society, Stephen Singleton, chief executive of The Suffolk Foundation, EADT editor Terry Hunt and Helen Taylor, of Age UK Suffolk.

Editor Terry Hunt said: “Even in these tough economic times, EADT readers are being incredibly generous.

“The £80,000 which they have donated so far will help hundreds of vulnerable people in Suffolk to stay safe and warm this winter. At a time of rocketing fuel bills, this support has never been more vital.’’

David Sheepshanks, chairman of The Suffolk Foundation, said: “We are immensely grateful to all those who have donated to our vital Surviving Winter campaign this year, which is already doing so much to help alleviate fuel poverty through the distribution of harsh winter grants by our partners Age UK Suffolk.

“I am delighted and humbled by the generosity of the EADT readers who have now raised over £59,000 – more than our public appeal raised over the entire winter last year.

“As we approach the coldest period of the year, and with many winter bills due to land on doorsteps soon, we would be so grateful to anyone who feels able to join in this special appeal and make a direct difference this winter.”

The EADT has highlighted how some people are forced to live and sleep in just one room to save money on heating, which leaves their movements restricted and puts their health at risk.