Winter Survival Guide

Published: 19 November 2020

As autumn leaves fall everyone needs a winter survival guide…. Most of us don our hats, scarves and gloves and life goes on as usual…. But for some, it’s a time of loneliness, worry and cold, especially for older people.

Everyone in Suffolk over the age of 65 receives a non means tested Winter Fuel Payment, whether they need it or not. We simply ask that if you don't need it, you donate it to the Surviving Winter Appeal run by the Suffolk Community Foundation, so that it can be given to another older person in the county living in fuel poverty. It’s easy to do, just get in touch with the Suffolk Community Foundation at www.suffolkcf.org.uk or phone 01473 602 602.
Over the past eight years they have raised over £615,000 through people donating their winter fuel payment, heated thousands of homes and helped many vulnerable people right across Suffolk.
Suffolk County Council run the Warm Homes Healthy People Scheme. They offer support about keeping warm in winter and help for older people with accessing winter fuel payments as well as grants for eligible people having central heating installed for the first time. Contact 03456 037 686 for more information.
And it’s not just the elderly or families that struggle during winter…. studies show that extreme weather changes can negatively affect mental health. During times of extreme cold, people stay inside more and actually detach from normal activities. This form of “hibernation mode” can increase depression. Officially the saddest month of the year, January can be really depressing as SAD (Seasonal Depression) sets in, so this is when extra support is needed. There is help out there …. www.mentalheath.org.uk and the https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ website have useful tips and advice for improving your mental health and if you need to talk to someone then the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.org.  Don't struggle on your own this winter.