Dame Helen Mirren has given her support to a Bristol-based charity’s appeal by donating her Winter Fuel Payment for those who need it more than she does.
The Oscar-winning actress made the £200 donation in aid of Surviving Winter, the appeal run by the Bristol-based Quartet Community Foundation and supported by Saga, to raise money to help older and vulnerable people stay warm and well.
The charity has made its final call for donations for this winter as many of those struggling with the cold weather start to receive their winter fuel bills.
Dame Helen, 67, joined hundreds of generous pensioners who have pledged to “recycle their payment”.
Locally, the money comes in to Quartet Community Foundation, an independent charity which works with local philanthropists to meet local needs. Quartet quickly turns donations around by giving grants to community groups that support individuals in dire need.
Surviving Winter grants pay for fuel bills, warmth packs, boiler repairs and hot meals. With temperatures below freezing most nights and one of the worst winters on record, demand for help is increasing.
Dame Helen said: “I believe passionately that we need to support the vulnerable and elderly in our local communities. It’s a tragedy that thousands of older people struggle to get through the winter months. By donating my Winter Fuel Payment to the appeal, I know I am helping an elderly person enjoy a warm and healthy winter.”
Jilly Edwards, development manager, at Quartet Community Foundation said: “This winter has been exceptionally cold. We all complain, but for older and seriously ill people it can be life-threatening, and we’re finding more people asking for help.
“With energy price rises, increasing costs of other basic life essentials, and for some, falling incomes, it is inevitable that growing numbers of households will be affected. This has been a harsh winter and we are still in the middle of a cold snap.
“More than 90 local people have already donated, helping us raise more than £39,000. We very much appreciate every donation from the generous public, including many from people who have given up their winter fuel payment. Anyone can donate, not just those receiving a winter fuel payment.”
For details visit www.quartetcf.org.uk or call 01225 420300.