Leicester

Leicestershire couple gives away fuel allowance

A Leicestershire man and his wife have set up a fund for people to donate their winter fuel allowance to charity.

Paul and Sue Newman from Glenfield decided they did not need their £125 winter fuel payment and have set up the 125 Fund.

They are urging other people in the same situation to follow their lead and donate unwanted payments to the fund.

Donations are processed through the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation for local needs.

Greater need

"The country's got some very serious financial problems," said Mr Newman. "There are huge debts, the government is having to take some tough decisions and it's going to affect everyone.

"But suddenly £125 drops through my letterbox and I say, 'Should it come to me or should it go to a better cause?'.

"There's no suggestion in any of this that people who need the money or people who choose to keep the money should do anything else.

"What we're doing is giving an opportunity to people who who feel they want to donate it to Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland."

Katy Green, director of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Foundation, which works with philanthropists and donors to give to local charities, said she had been overwhelmed by the Newmans' generosity.

"It's great when someone approaches us, often we have to do the chasing," said Ms Green.

"While these non means-tested benefits are here, we can make them work as hard as they possibly can."

The winter fuel allowance is a yearly tax-free payment to help people over the age of 60 pay for their heating in the winter.

The amount varies from £125 and £400, depending on individual circumstances.

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