DORSET Community Foundation have launched their Surviving Winter Appeal for an eighth year to help fight the number of excess deaths in the county during the winter months.

The appeal asks people to ‘recycle’ their unwanted Winter Fuel payments to support older Dorset residents in serious fuel poverty.

The foundation is attempting to address the shocking statistic that there are an average of 520 excess deaths in Dorset during winter

Grant Robson, Director at the Foundation explained: “Generous local residents can potentially save lives by simply ‘recycling’ unwanted Winter Fuel allowances which all people over the age of 65 receive from the Government.

“Donations from Dorset helped us to support 280 people last year, all in very difficult circumstances, from those recovering from cancer or serious health conditions to those in poorly built or damp housing - situations only exacerbated by the cold.”

Donations raised are directed through the local Citizens Advice Bureaus to people over 60 in fuel poverty or to those 50 and over who meet the winter fuel poverty criteria which includes significant health conditions, highest level of benefits or have little current chance of improving life circumstances.

To donate online please go to