A-list celebrity support for Courier and Foundation campaign

A host of actors and presenters have spoken out against the fact that pensioners are struggling to heat their homes.

Sir Michalel Parkinson is supporting the Surviving Winter fuel poverty campaign

Sir Michalel Parkinson is supporting the Surviving Winter fuel poverty campaign

Half of Calderdale’s over 65s are classed as living in fuel poverty - where a home’s fuel costs more than ten per cent of the household income or where paying a bill would push a person into poverty.

Last winter, there were 130 excess winter deaths related to cold weather in Calderdale.

Actress Dame Helen Mirren and broadcasters Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir Terry Wogan are supporting the Surviving Winter fuel poverty campaign run by UK Community Foundations including Calderdale Community Foundation (CFFC).

The Foundation is providing vulnerable men and women living in fuel poverty with blankets, hot water bottles, hot dinners, insulation and help with fuel bills.

Dame Helen Mirren said: “It’s hard to think of the millions of people struggling to keep even one room warm as the cold weather sets in.

“Surviving Winter is a simple yet effective campaign to help people in fuel poverty.

“Your donation to the Foundation - no matter how large or small - goes straight to those in need.

“If you are worried about the elderly and the vulnerable this winter and can afford to donate then please do.”

Agreeing with Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Michael Parkinson, said: “I fully support the campaign to assist the elderly and the vulnerable to keep warm and healthy during our cold winters.

“If you are in a position to do so please help by donating all or part of your winter fuel payment to this very worthwhile cause.”

Terry Wogan has encouraged the public to get behind the campaign in a special video online on the Courier website.

Last week, Age UK asked people to sign the Energy Bill Revolution during its Cold Homes Week.

The Bill called for more to be done to make homes more energy efficient.

UK homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe.

Rising fuel costs and plummeting temperatures are forcing pensioners to make tough decisions between keeping warm or eating adequately.

Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees fundraiser Judith Churley, said: “In Calderdale we have above the average number of cold homes with over 10,000 poorly insulated and hard to heat homes.

“This can have a dire effect on older people in the winter.

“We’d like to see the Government make home energy efficiency an infrastructure a priority.

“Locally we are working with the Council and Community Foundation to provide support to older people to help keep them warm and well over the winter, through the Safe and Warm Scheme, providing information and advice, befriending services and our Fuel Poverty Fund.”

Steve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation, said: “We don’t want to see another 130 people lose their lives to the cold this winter.

“But we need your help, with more funds we can do more to help.

“Every penny raised in Calderdale will stay in Calderdale and help our community.”

For every donation, CFFC will match fund it.

Send your donation by texting: TEXT £amount to CFFC14 to 70070.

You can also donate online by visiting www.cffc.co.uk/surviving-winter-2014.

And for ideas on how you can raise money and help older people across the borough, visit www.localgiving.com/cffc.