Since the Winter Fuel Grant scheme was launched during the winter of 2010 -2011 it has grown from strength to strength and targets those most in need.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there were an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in the 2015/16 winter period. Fortunately, the number of excess winter deaths has almost halved since the 2014/15 period but Britain still has the worst winter death rates in Europe, even compared to much colder European countries. There are several reasons why older people in the UK are more likely to die from cold related illnesses compared to other European countries. These reasons include poor quality, cold homes which can worsen illnesses, lack of home insulation and not taking sufficient precautions against the cold such as wearing warm clothing and taking advantage of immunisation schemes.
Since the launch of their grant scheme Hospitality Action has received amazing feedback on how much this £100 grant has meant. Last year the grant recipients were asked to complete a small survey and received the following feedback:
During the 2016/2017 winter period a total of £28,900 was spent, helping 289 people with a Winter Fuel Grant. This is an increase of 16% from 2015/2016. With an expected 5% increase in the number of Golden Friends this year we are expecting to have demand for more grants and therefore the ICF grant was increased to £30,500 for 2017/2018