AN ORGANISATION has launched its annual campaign to ensure Cumbria’s elderly residents are kept warm this winter.

Cumbria Community Foundation’s Winter Warmth Appeal, in partnership with Age UK across Cumbria, raises funds to help older people across the county stay protected during the colder months.

The foundation revealed the shocking figure that during bad winters 300 people die in Cumbria because of the cold weather, a fatality rate higher than most other areas of the UK and the elderly are among the most vulnerable.

More than a thousand older people who struggle to afford to heat their homes benefit each year from the campaign and during its eleven years the appeal has raised over £1 million.

This year the charity hopes to raise £200,000 to help keep Cumbria’s most vulnerable warm and well this winter.

Penrith resident, Frank, 75, has said how vital the funds from the campaign are to his quality of life.

He said: “It has made all the difference in the world.

“ It means I can keep warm and have a decent Christmas dinner.

“My friend who is in a wheelchair told me about it when we were talking about how we would get by.”

The cost of fuel is rising and there are many old, rural homes in Cumbria which cost more to keep warm and it is becoming increasingly harder for people to afford to heat their homes, especially for those that no longer have a steady income.

According to Cumbria Community Foundation there is also a connection between cold homes and increased risk of respiratory illness, which means any waves of COVID-19 during colder months could have a catastrophic impact for people who already have health conditions, when they cannot afford to sufficiently heat their homes.

This is why they say the Winter Warmth Appeal has never been more important.

You can donate to the appeal at or send a cheque (made payable to: ‘Cumbria Community Foundation’ and write ‘Winter Warmth’ on the back) to Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Dovenby, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN.

Or you can make a donation via telephone by calling 01900 825760.