Today, Suffolk Community Foundation launched their Rebuilding Local Lives Surviving Winter Appeal 2020.

The appeal helps quickly deliver support to residents of Suffolk who may be struggling to heat their homes through the colder months.

Last year’s Surviving Winter Appeal raised enough money to heat over 1,000 homes and connected hundreds of vulnerable people to other services to help tackle isolation, other physical and mental health issues caused by poor living conditions, debt and a general lack of access to services that could improve their lives.

This year, the ‘Foundation are expecting more people than ever to need support, and so are merging Surviving Winter with their central Rebuilding Local Lives initiative

In an interview with Mark Murphy for BBC Radio Suffolk – Make a Difference we hear about how the support has helped transform the life of Suffolk resident and Rural Coffee Caravan visitor, Christina. You can listen the interview here.

When her husband sadly died, Christina’s income was vastly reduced and she could only afford to heat one room of her home via an open fire. Rural Coffee Caravan visits to her village enabled her to reach out and ask for help via our Warm Homes initiative. Our Rural Energy Adviser was able to quickly assess her needs and help urgently connect her to the funding offered by the ‘Foundation. Coming along to the village visits also introduced Christina to new friends in her own community, to other financial support available to her which she was previously unaware of, and to her local MeetUpMondays. Here she has made even more friends and she talks about how happy her life has now become.

Never underestimate the power of a cuppa and a chat!

These social connections are vital for our mental and emotional wellbeing, and the conversations we have can lead to unexpected positive changes in our daily lives. Christina urges others who might be struggling to take those first steps to reach out and ask for help.

Whatever the issue, we’ll do our utmost to help connect you the right support.

If you are able to donate to the Surviving Winter Appeal please do, so that people like Christina are able to receive this life-transforming support, and not have to choose between ‘heating or eating’, this winter. If you, or someone you know, is struggling, please get in touch.