Wiltshire

Wiltshire charity collects fuel payments for needy

A Wiltshire charity has collected £16,000 in Winter Fuel Payments from those who do not need them to give to those who do.

The government payments for the over-60s range from £125 to £400.

The Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon is redistributing the payments to the most vulnerable.

John Yates, the charity's development director, said about 60 people had so far responded to its request and that the group was still collecting money.

'300 deaths'

He said the charity was working with Citizen's Advice Bureaux, Age UK and other local advice centres to determine who should get the money.

"The appeal will be ongoing as long as it's cold outside. I'm sure some people have still got it sitting on their mantelpiece," Mr Yates said.

"There were 300 excess winter deaths in Wiltshire last year because their situation was worsened by fuel poverty."

Mildred Sunderland, 76, from Calne, still works full time and said she felt the younger generation needed more help to pay bills.

"I do think that probably the older generation are better off," she said.

"I feel desperately sorry for our young people.

"They would like to buy a house and that's going to be impossible to save a deposit. They also want to encourage them to save for a pension.

"How are they going to live?"

The idea for the collection came from the Somerset Community Foundation and similar schemes have spread across the UK.

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