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Age UK starts the third Spread the Warmth campaign

Published on 07 December 2012 12:30 AM

Age UK and a host of celebrities kick off the third annual Spread the Warmth campaign

Age UK has kicked off its third annual Spread the Warmth winter campaign with support from a host of celebrities including Dame Helen Mirren and Lynda Bellingham. The integrated campaign brings together expertise from across the charity to help raise funds and alleviate the needless suffering faced by too many older people.

Launching this year's campaign to the media, Age UK revealed that 3.5 million older people don't get help or company from their neighbours.(1) The Charity is calling on everyone to come together through Age UK's Big Winter Pledge(2) to help older people in communities across the country, with Dame Helen Mirren saying: 'I'd urge everyone to get stuck in this winter and help out older friends, neighbours and relatives with Age UK.'

Spread the Warmth runs from November 2012 to March 2013 and has already achieved a ‘media first' with its thermal cover wrap in The Telegraph Magazine on 17 November and won a PR Week Award 2012 for Best Integrated Campaign. A Public Relations campaign as well as national and regional advertising, direct marketing and a specially-designed online winter hub will help to promote Spread the Warmth over the coming months.

The campaign has already secured high profile support with innocent leading corporate involvement through The Big Knit and Wilkinsons and John Lewis providing funding to local Age UKs for winter-related projects. Age UK is also delighted to have been selected to benefit from this year's ITV ‘Text Santa' appeal on ITV 1 on 21 December 2012.

This year's Donate a Coat appeal is gaining momentum with stars such as Stephen Fry, Geri Halliwell and Mollie King from The Saturdays donating their coats to be resold to raise vital funds for older people in one of Age UK's 450+ shops across the country. Top high street brands have also given new coats to support the appeal including Topshop, Barbour, Ted Baker, New Look, Burton, BHS, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Jaeger, French Connection, River Island and H&M.

On its annual fundraising day, Bobble Day on Friday 8 February 2013, Age UK will be challenging everyone to Warm Up Britain by wearing an Age UK bobble and joining in the fun - people will be digging out wacky woolly jumpers, holding a tea morning or wrapping up for a bracing walk to raise money. In addition, Age UK's growing Wrap Up and Run 10k series will be taking place in February and March, which has nine events for runners of all abilities.

Paul Farthing, Director of Fundraising at Age UK, said: 'Through this year's Spread the Warmth campaign we are hoping to inspire everyone to act now to do their bit to lessen the impact of winter for older people this year. There really is something simple that everyone can do to get involved in our campaign, from making a Big Winter Pledge to donating much needed funds so that we can continue to work with our partners to provide quality, targeted support for people in later life who need it.'

This winter as many as 25,000 older people could die needlessly because of the cold. That's around 200 preventable deaths a day. Age UK and its local and national partners are working to keep older people warm and well. The charity will provide social activities and contact for older people, as well as tips on combating the cold at home and outdoors. Age UK will be keeping people warm and safe at home, giving out hot nutritious meals and offering information and advice 365 days a year. It will also call on the Government to boost the energy efficiency of older people's homes. Act now to Spread the Warmth and help hundreds of thousands of older people.

Older people and their families can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65, where they can also order a free copy of ‘Winter wrapped up' with a free thermometer.  Alternatively they can visit to download the guide, get more information about the Spread the Warmth campaign and find out where their local Age UK office or shop is. There are lots of ways to help Age UK Spread the Warmth this winter. People can make a donation simply by calling 0800 169 87 87 or visiting


1) 34% of older people: TNS Winter Omnibus Survey for Age UK (Oct 2012). Population figures for the UK are estimates based on mid-2010  population estimates, ONS 2011, using the figure of 10,304,600 people aged 65 or over in the UK

2) Age UK's Big Winter Pledge:
Pledge 1: Pop in and see an older friend, relative or neighbour regularly
Pledge 2: Do your bit to help out when the colder weather hits, from clearing paths to getting the shopping in for an older neighbour
Pledge 3: Donate money to Age UK today by calling 0800 169 87 87 or visiting Just £10 could fund an emergency winter warmth pack*
Pledge 4: Get a free thermometer and ‘Winter Wrapped Up' advice guide from Age UK by calling 0800 169 65 65 and pass on to an older friend, neighbour or relative
Pledge 5: Volunteer for Age UK and local Age UKs across the country. Contact your local Age UK for more information or visit Get involved or call 0800 169 87 87

People can spread the word on how they are helping to Spread the Warmth by putting their pledge into practice to help older people this winter - tweet about it using #spreadthewarmth or drop by the Age UK Facebook page

Notes to Editors:

Media contact: Sarah Scott
Telephone: 020 3033 1434
Out of hours: 07071 243 243

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to well over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and wellbeing, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity). 


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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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