Dame Vera supporting winter fuel campaign

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Sussex Community Foundation has announced that Forces’ Sweetheart and local resident Dame Vera Lynn, now 95, is backing the Surviving Winter 2012 Appeal.

It raises money for older and vulnerable people in Sussex who are at risk this winter.

Partnered by Saga, Sussex Surviving Winter encourages people to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to help those struggling to meet their fuel bills across the county.

Last year’s campaign raised £30,000 which was distributed by Citizens Advice Bureaux and Age UK, ensuring it reached the people in Sussex most in need.

Ditchling resident Dame Vera, whose recording career has spanned an incredible seven decades, secured her position as national treasure during the Second World War when she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving concerts for the troops.

Post-war, she has devoted much of her time to charity work, particularly in support of ex-servicemen and women.

“I am very happy indeed to donate my Winter Fuel Payment again this year to help someone else in Sussex keep warm,” said Dame Vera. “It’s terrible to think that some of the men and women who served so bravely during the war are now in a position where they’re worrying that they won’t be able to pay their fuel bills. I’m encouraging anyone who feels they don’t need their own Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to the Surviving Winter Appeal. All the money you donate will be spent here in Sussex.”

There are an estimated 88,599 households in fuel poverty in Sussex – 13 per cent of households – and around half of include somebody over 60.

You can donate at www.localgiving.com/sussexcf or send a cheque, payable to Sussex Community Foundation, to: Sussex Surviving Winter 2012, Sussex Community Foundation, Falcon Wharf, Railway Lane, Lewes BN7 2AQ.