Will you donate for needy who are surviving winter?

Bicester Advertiser: Dermot and Caroline Roaf. Dermot and Caroline Roaf.

WITH only 51 people having donated their Winter Fuel Payment to the more needy so far this winter, former county councillor Dermot Roaf is urging more, well-off pensioners to join him in giving the money to those who really need it.

Mr Roaf, 76, who was a county councillor for Oxford North Division until 2009 and a maths don at Exeter College before his retirement, is amongst 51, mainly anonymous donors who have already given their tax-free winter fuel payments to the Surviving Winter Fund since the beginning of November.

A universal benefit, all people born before January 5,1952, receive between £100 and £300 tax-free as a winter fuel payment each year.

But Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) is urging people who do not rely on the extra cash to donate it to their Surviving Winter Fund.

All money donated to the fund is being collected and then doubled through match-funding, before being given in the form of grants to community groups working to alleviate loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly this winter.

But with the total so far at just £11,500, and around 100,000 over 65s living in Oxfordshire, it is hoped that many more pensioners will decide they can spare the money.

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Grandfather-of-eight Mr Roaf, from Oxford, said: “My wife Caroline and I both received a £100 winter fuel payment, but we have our own home, our pensions and quite low heating and electricity bills, so we were only too glad to donate the money to Surviving Winter. I hope many more people will come forward and donate theirs.”

The fourth annual Surviving Winter campaign was launched last month by Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF).

Mrs Halcyon Leonard and her husband James, both 69 and from Kennington, have also donated their winter fuel payments.

Mrs Leonard said: “We have donated it every year since we started qualifying it for it.’’ To make a donation to Surviving Winter visit: oxfordshire.org and click on the donate button at the top.

For cheque donations make them payable to Oxfordshire Community Foundation and send to 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford OX1 1HD.

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