FRIENDS of the Elderly has launched its 2021 Winter Warmth Appeal to help older people living on low incomes throughout England.

When temperatures fall below 8°C elderly people, especially those living alone, can be vulnerable and susceptible to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, flu, pneumonia and in extreme, hypothermia.

Mark Wilson, Friends of the Elderly’s engagement director said: “Every day we receive downhearted and discouraged calls from many older people who may be living on their own, who are desperate for help and support, are living in unsafe conditions or facing dire situations.

“More often than not, they have nowhere else to turn and Friends of the Elderly is their last and only hope.

“The requests we receive are not excessive or elaborate, just modest asks that make a positive, constructive and helpful difference to that older person’s daily life and wellbeing.”

Mark continued: “After receiving a touching and emotional call from a vulnerable older couple - Vera and Henry - we were able to contribute £500 towards their new boiler.

“Vera told us that they had exhausted all other avenues and that we were their last hope.”

Two million pensioners in the UK live in poverty and, earlier this year, it was reported that almost three million elderly people turn off heating as they cannot afford energy bills.

Mark said: “Helping older people like Vera, Henry and Frank is at the heart of our 2021 Winter Warmth Appeal, helping them to keep warm, healthy, comfortable and safe.

“Our Appeal is totally focused on helping those older people who are alone or struggling to cope during the wintery days and nights.

“Our Winter Warmth Appeal is vitally important as it allows us to help, support and make physical, noticeable and actual positive differences to many older people, their wellbeing and daily lives during the cold and lonely winter months.

“Every penny we receive is match-funded by the Edward Gostling Foundation and goes towards making sure older people do not feel alone, isolated, cold or forgotten this winter.”