Thousands of gift bags with essential warmth items will be packed this winter to help the elderly during the colder and darker months of the year.
Small Acts of Kindness, a charity that researches and distributes practical gifts to seniors across the county, including Hertford, is asking recipients of the government’s winter fuel payment to consider donating them into part or all, for the benefit of those who may find it difficult to Keep Warm.
Payments donated will go directly to items such as fleece blankets, thermal socks, hats, gloves and hot drinks.
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Each year, the association packs 7,000 Warm in Winter gift bags for the elderly who are cold in their homes. Many face fuel poverty and may be unable to heat their homes sufficiently.
A household that suffers from fuel poverty has higher than average energy costs and paying these costs pushes it below the poverty line in terms of its remaining income.
With energy prices set to rise further, many seniors will find it difficult to stay warm in their homes this winter.
The health risks associated with a low body temperature in an elderly person include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and liver damage.
The charity says that for some, the perk of a Warm in Winter gift bag could literally be a lifeline.
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Lynne Misner, CEO of Small Acts of Kindness, said: “This winter, with fuel costs soaring, more seniors than ever will have to make the almost unimaginable choice between heating themselves and eating.
“Many sit alone in the cold and dark or go to bed early to try to warm up.
“We can’t begin to imagine the toll this will take on their physical and mental health.
“The gift of Winter Fuel Payment, to help those who need it most, will make a big difference.
“Each £ 100 donation will provide four Warm in Winter gift bags, and £ 50 will provide 10 fleece blankets.”
Donations can be made online here.
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