DEVON Community Foundation (DCF) has launched an appeal asking those who do not need their Government Winter Fuel Payment to consider donating it to support households struggling to pay for food, energy and other essentials.
Money raised through the Surviving Winter campaign will be redistributed through DCF’s Food, Fuel and More grant scheme, going to organisations which are supporting the most vulnerable households in our community.
The cost of living crisis is hitting Devon hard and more households than ever will need support this winter. The Food, Fuel and More grant scheme has been designed to benefit those who may find it particularly difficult to access support.
Beneficiary groups are: Asian, Black and other ethnic minority communities; Traveller, Gypsy and Roma communities; those experiencing homelessness and households with disabled residents.
Funding for the Food, Fuel and More scheme has been made possible via the Household Support Fund, managed by Devon County Council (DCC) on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Devon Community Foundation has worked with DCC since 2021 to distribute a share of the Household Support Fund to organisations working with those who are furthest from support.
More than £260,000 in Food, Fuel and More funding is currently available but DCF is expecting high demand. Donations of Winter Fuel Payments will help support even more organisations working with vulnerable households this winter.
Laura Cameron Long, Head of Development and Philanthropy at DCF said: “As temperatures drop this winter, it’s an extremely difficult time for many households in Devon and the charities that provide vital support to them.
"Whilst most people will need to use their winter fuel payment to help them through these months, there will be others who may be able to donate it to our Surviving Winter appeal. If you are able to donate, we will make sure this generous support meets local need.”
To-date, DCF has awarded more than 50 Food, Fuel and More grants to community groups and organisations across Devon. Among them is The Olive Project, a charitable organisation set up in 2021 to support black and minoritised survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
“We began receiving referrals and noticed a common theme emerged,” said Alexis Wright, one of The Olive Project’s founders.
“Many of our clients spoke of the challenges of the cost of living crisis and as a result they began to access food banks. Whilst they were so grateful for the support, the food available was not food they would usually eat.
“Our clients talked about the food they would cook in their home countries and communities. The spices they would use, the way the vegetables would be cooked and how dinner was sometimes an hours-long affair.
“The stories touched us and as a result we applied to the Food Fuel and More fund run by Devon Community Foundation. We were so proud when we were approved for the grant.”
Alexis described how they have been able to use the grant to provide food and other essentials that meet the needs of those they support. “The results have been so positive,” said Alexis. “One of our clients has been able to cook food that helps with her stomach problems and another has been able to cook more homecooked meals for her family.”
Along with Winter Fuel Payments, DCF is also welcoming gifts from individuals, corporates, groups, or collections among friends.
Donations of between £5 and £1,000 can be made via DCF’s
For more information about Food, Fuel and More visit: Food Fuel and More - Devon Community Foundation (devoncf.com): https://devoncf.com/grants/food-fuel-more-2/ .
Visit the Devon County Council website: https://www.devon.gov.uk/news/help-available-for-devon-residents-struggling-with-the-cost-of-living-this-winter/ to find out more about the Household Support Fund.