Community groups with innovative ideas to help vulnerable people in Leeds get through the winter can bag themselves a slice of £75,000.
Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) is handing out grants as part of its Surviving Winter campaign, backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The charity is keen to back projects that could help reduce the shocking death toll of people who struggle to heat their homes, as well as schemes that ease the worries that increase when temperatures drop.
Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of LCF, said: “Organisations that are likely to benefit from this grants programme provide a real lifeline.”
And that’s exactly how elderly residents supported by Armley Helping Hands see its work.
The group received around £1,000 through last year’s grants project, which it used to produce a winter information guide, as well as a healthy living course.
The leaflet is packed with useful information, from advising residents to locate their stopcock, to tips on avoiding becoming victims of crime.
Dawn Newsome, project manager, said: “It’s about making sure older people get the right support.
“We have done our winter warmth campaign in August, to make them aware of these issues before the bad weather.”
Joyce Dawkins, 81, described the leaflet as “invaluable” while Nellie Simpson, 89, said it was “very useful”.
Both said Armley Helping Hands was a “lifeline” for them.
Mary Clarke, 83, said she had enjoyed the healthy-eating sessions, adding: “I don’t like the dark weather, I don’t think anybody that’s older does.
“It‘s lovely to get out and meet people.”
In winter 2010-2011 around 27 people died every day across the region from illnesses caused by being too cold in their homes. Grants awarded through last year’s campaign helped almost 9,000 people.
Single organisations can apply for up to £2,500, partnerships can apply for up to £5,000.
To apply go: www.leedscf.org.uk/grant-making.htm and look for Winter Warmth Community Grants Scheme.