A POOLE based charity behind the Surviving Winter Appeal is calling on donations as newly released figures show Winter mortality has gone up by 40 per cent.

Research carried out by the Office of National Statistics shows that during the winter of 2018, there were 730 excess winter deaths in the county. This is an increase of 210 from the average 520 people dying in Dorset during the winter months.

Dorset Community Foundation, the charity behind the lifesaving appeal, are pleading for more donations from local generous residents and organisations to help those in need.

Grant Robson, Director at the Foundation said: “The statistics are shocking, and the lost lives behind the figures are very sad – older people dying here in Dorset, a county considered relatively wealthy, because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

“We have been campaigning to raise awareness and donations of this issue since 2011 and our efforts have raised just over £250,000 in the last eight years helping over 1,300 older people.

“However, despite the overwhelming generosity of donors, we need more support to help vulnerable older people - now, probably more than ever.”

Donations raised are directly dispersed through the Citizens Advice Bureaus across Dorset and the Appeal has already helped over 100 people this winter.

Older people over 60 in fuel poverty or those 50 and over who meet the winter fuel poverty criteria and have significant health conditions are eligible for support.

To donate please send a cheque to Dorset Community Foundation, The Spire, High Street, Poole, BH15 1DF, or alternatively you can donate online at www.dorsetcommunityfoundation.org.