Somerset Community Foundation and Community Foundation Network

Nick Hancock, comedian; Celina Ribeiro, editor of Fundraising; Jane Rawnsley,director of communications, Community Foundation Network; Justin Sargent, CEO, Somerset Community Foundation

Somerset Community Foundation and Community Foundation Network

Fuelling support for the elderly

Each year around 25,000 more people die in winter than in other months and 90 per cent are over 60 years old. In many colder countries the increase in mortality is much lower, indicating these deaths are avoidable. Surviving Winter supports older and vulnerable people in fuel poverty. For the first time, community foundations collaborated and used local expertise to address an issue of national concern.

In 2010, inspired by a small group of existing supporters who wanted to put their winter fuel payments to better use but were unsure how to do so effectively, Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) pioneered the idea of recycling winter fuel payments and raised £57,000. It then developed a fast-track grants process to direct funds to local groups and a simple but robust process for smaller organisations to award payments to individuals.  

Following on from this success SCF worked with the Community Foundation Network (CFN) to develop the model into a UK-wide campaign across more than 40 community foundations, launched in November 2011. The programme was designed to work at a local level, augmented by national media work run by CFN in partnership with Saga.

This ambitious campaign involving many different partners and co-ordinated in a short timeframe had substantial impact and has acted as a model for future relationships. Over £2.5m in new funds has been raised - the original target was £1m. An estimated 7,500 people have been assisted either through direct grants or by funding support activities that alleviate the impact of cold weather on the elderly.

Somerset Community FoundationJustin Sargent
Somerset Community Foundation
Yeoman House
The Royal Bath & West Showground
Shepton Mallet
Somerset BA4 6QN
Tel: 01749 344949
CC reg no: 4094446

Community Foundation NetworkJane Rawnsley
Director of communications
Community Foundation Network
12 Angel Gate
320-326 City Road
London EC1V 2PT
Tel: 020 7713 9326
CC reg no: 1004630


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