Brighton Lions Club is launching Project Wenceslas, a campaign to help combat fuel poverty in the City of Brighton and Hove.
People who receive the annual Winter Fuel Payment and feel they do not need it, are invited to donate the amount to Brighton Lions and who can assure that every penny will go towards helping people in the City to alleviate their fuel poverty.
Fuel poverty has increased mainly due to rising energy prices. Although excess winter deaths occur in both warm and cold houses, it is evident that there is a much higher risk of death in the latter. Deaths in the coldest houses are three times as high as in warmer ones. More people die from cold housing than die on the roads each year.
Excess winter deaths contribute to 1 in 20 deaths per year, and amount to an average of 30,000 additional deaths in winter. While the impact of fuel poverty in Brighton and Hove is slightly lower than England, it is higher than the South-East average. Excess winter deaths are slightly higher than both England and the South-East.
Anyone in fuel poverty can be affected, but most deaths occur among people aged 65 or over. In people with pre-existing conditions, those with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions are most at risk. The main causes of excess winter deaths are heart attacks and strokes caused by increased blood pressure from living in a cold home, as well as respiratory and breathing infections. The cold can lower the immune system's resistance to respiratory infections such as colds and pneumonia. Levels of ﬂu also increase during the winter. ln vulnerable groups, such as children, older people and those with existing long-term conditions, infections such as ﬂu and pneumonia can be life threatening. ln addition, the cold makes it harder to move around.
Arthritis can become worse and general strength can decrease, which leads to a greater risk of accidents and injuries, and older people are more likely to have a fall.
Mental health is also affected. Some people also become cut off from friends and family because they don't want to invite them into a cold house.
Cold housing can also negatively affect children’s emotional well-being and resilience. It can be difﬁcult for them to study or do homework in a cold house, therefore affecting their education, work opportunities and long-term health.
Direct applications will not be accepted; all referrals must be made through agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK and BHESCo to ensure all the donated money goes to the people who really need help with fuel poverty. There will be complete anonymity as all that is required for payment to be made is the energy company’s name and the account number.
Cheques payable to Brighton Lions Club Project Wenceslas should be sent to Brighton Lions Club, Lions Dene, The Deneway, Brighton, BN1 5AZ (please consider also sending the Gift Aid declaration here) or donations can be made by credit or debit card through BT Mydonate: