GOVERNMENT funding cuts have left a Leeds charity facing a desperate race against time as it tries to help old people stay warm this winter.
The Leeds Community Foundation (LCF) gave out £60,000 in grants last winter to projects designed to stop the elderly suffering hardship and ill health during cold weather.
But a drastic reduction in funding means that, at present, it has just £10,000 of locally-sourced cash to distribute – while a string of energy companies are controversially preparing to jack up their prices.
It is now aiming to raise £50,000 by Christmas so it can provide the same level of assistance as last winter to groups working with the elderly.
And today the YEP is appealing for its readers to dig deep and help the charity’s Winter Warmth Campaign.
LCF chief executive Sally-Anne Greenfield said: “Our research into the needs of older people shows that the issues that they face are made much worse in winter and the long-term forecast this year is particularly bleak.
“Cuts in welfare benefits, a significant increase in fuel prices and a general increase in living costs also give us real cause for concern.
“Old and vulnerable people experience many problems through the winter months, including having to choose between heating their home and eating hot food and bad weather leading to isolation and a risk of falls. National government cuts mean the money which has been readily available for us to distribute in the past is no longer available and we are appealing to the public to donate so we can continue to help our elderly residents through the winter months.”
The LCF wants to raise £50,000 by Christmas so it can distribute its grants in January.