As the weather turns colder, this year’s Winter Warmth Appeal by The British Polio Fellowship is hoping to bring in a much needed warm front, thanks to support from TV star and novelist Julia Roberts, who has personal experience of living with Polio and who has generously offered to spearhead the charity’s 2013 campaign.
As a side effect of Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), many British Polio Fellowship members feel the cold more than most and need to keep the heating on longer and turned up higher than the average household. This, coupled with the endless rising cost of heating bills can cause many members a great deal of worry and distress in what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. The appeal aims to raise £20,000 in time for Christmas.
“I’m proud to be presenting this year’s Winter Warmth Appeal for The British Polio Fellowship,” said Julia Roberts. “It is a pleasure to highlight this appeal, which is less about helping people with their bills and more about ensuring those with Polio and PPS do not have to spend the winter months suffering the cold and living in fear of switching on the heating, so I hope people will get behind us.”
The Appeal is about more than just money. In addition to delivering financial support with heating grants for qualifying members, the campaign aims to provide practical advice to members on how to keep utility bills down, plus cold intolerance factsheets and much more.
Julia is joined by a number of other supporters for this year’s appeal, including Professor Gareth Williams, author of the recently published book Paralysed with Fear, who volunteered to write the letter appealing for the support of Fellowship members and is also planning a local musical event of his own to raise money and awareness of the issue.
“I have been greatly impressed by the breadth and variety of the practical help and general support which The British Fellowship provides,” said Gareth. “This is such a worthwhile cause, that I wanted to be involved and hope members, supporters and the general public will join Julia and myself in making this year’s campaign the best ever.”
Members who face the most hardship are those already on low incomes. Those under 60 years of age do not qualify for the winter fuel allowance, which just compounds the problem. The British Polio Fellowship receives no government funding for its work and is totally reliant on the generosity of the public, which makes the support of Gareth and Julia so vital in raising the profile of vital campaigns like the Winter Warmth Appeal.
“The Winter Warmth Appeal always brings out people’s generosity and we hope that with Julia and Gareth behind us, the kindness of the public will once again help us ensure everyone has a warm winter,” said The British Polio Fellowship CEO, Ted Hill MBE. “The great British public have dug deep for us in previous years and as always we are deeply grateful for all the support we receive.”
If you wish to donate, there are many ways to do so. You can send a cheque to The British Polio Fellowship central office, make a regular donation via direct debit, or of course you can make a donation by credit card. Simply call 0800 043 1935 and the central office team will be happy to help. Alternatively, visit the charity’s website at https://britishpolio.org.uk/ and click ‘donate.’
“As fuel bills continue to rise, the amount The Fellowship needs to raise each year grows correspondingly,” added Julia. “We do hope people will get involved and support us.”
For more details on Fellowship, please contact The British Polio Fellowship on 0800 043 1935, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the new website at www.britishpolio.org.uk