“Give your winter fuel allowance to those in greater need” is the heart-felt plea from the High Sheriff of Rutland.
Air Commodore Miles Williamson Noble is urging anyone who does not rely on their winter payment to use it to help the hundreds of families and pensioners in Rutland who cannot afford to heat their homes.
Mr Williamson Noble said: “For some older people, that payment is a life saver. For others it is a nice bonus, but not essential.
It seems only right that I and others like me should use the payment to help those in greater need than ourselves.”
Mr Williamson Noble has started a High Sheriff of Rutland’s Fund. One of its aims is to provide support for elderly people in Rutland suffering from isolation or poverty.
The fund is eligible for Gift Aid, and for Government matched funding on any money invested for future use.
“I urge anyone who receives the Winter Fuel Payment and who does not need it to pay their heating bills, to donate it to the High Sheriff’s Fund, so the money can be passed on to those in real need,” he said.
Anyone living in the UK and born before 5 July 1952 is eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300, depending on age and circumstances.
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard has already pledged his support and urged others to follow.
Dr Howard said: “It is still a poorly understood fact that Rutland suffers its fair share of rural poverty.
“By donating to this excellent initiative, those of us who do not need the Winter Fuel Payment can immediately help others less fortunate.”
Winter Fuel Payments are made in early November, just in time for the money to be passed on before the cold sets in.
For anyone who is a taxpayer, every £100 donated will be worth £125 if accompanied by a Gift Aid declaration, and £175 if invested for future use. The trustees of the fund will be working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK and Charity Link to identify those elderly residents of Rutland who should benefit.
The High Sheriff says this is a great opportunity for anyone 62 or more to make a useful contribution and “make a real difference to someone in need”.
Donors are also encouraged to let the High Sheriff know if they are aware of anyone who might be in need but is not known to the charities. The information will be treated in strict confidence. Mr Williamson Noble can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can donate your Winter Fuel Payment online by going to www.llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk , click on ‘Make a Payment Now’, then ‘Select One’ and highlight ‘High Sheriff of Rutland Fund’ from the dropdown menu. Payment is via Paypal, and there is provision for you to make use of Gift Aid if you are a taxpayer.
Alternatively you can donate by sending a cheque made payable to the High Sheriff of Rutland’s Fund to Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, 3 Wycliffe Street, Leicester LA1 5LR.
The Community Foundation can provide a Gift Aid mandate if you would like one.