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Share Your Warmth Campaign

Published on 17 February 2020 02:14 PM

For many older people, the winter fuel payment is vital to help them meet increasing fuel costs and stay warm this winter. But not everyone needs their winter fuel payment to keep warm this winter. That's why Age UK Oxfordshire, together with Active Oxfordshire, have teamed up to offer you an alternative way you could put your winter fuel payment to good use. You could choose to donate it and help people in Oxfordshire to become more physically active and combat loneliness. Share your warmth this winter!

Sir Muir Gray, leading Consultant, professor at the University of Oxford, Public Health advisor, and author of the "Sod Sitting, Get Moving" series of books, came up with the idea.

Sir Muir Gray realised that the fuel payment, £200 per person, is not always needed. Collectively, it could help other older people in Oxfordshire become more physically active and combat loneliness and isolation.

Being physically active quite literally makes us feel warm - and we all know the many health benefits of being physically active; and exercising as part of a group is also a great way to be socially connected to others – to feel emotionally warm, which we know is so important for our mental health and wellbeing.

This is what some people in later life have said about attending an exercise class: "It helps to know you are not alone with your problems." "I've made new friends, and become much fitter and learned more about looking after myself as I get older." For some people who are housebound, and are not able to attend an exercise class or activity, loneliness and depression could easily take hold.

Sir Muir Gray said: "We now know that isolation, loneliness and depression not only cause suffering but they increase the risk of dementia. We now have strong scientific evidence that activity, physical and mental, helps people live longer better and reduces their risk of hospital admission and needing social care. Being physically active reduces the risk of problems that many people fear most: dementia, frailty and needing social care.

"Many thousands of people in Oxfordshire will have received a winter fuel payment. For some of them this will have been of great importance but many of us wonder what we should do with this £200. With this note we are launching the Share Your Warmth Appeal with the aim of encouraging people to give their winter fuel allowance to Age UK Oxfordshire to make winter better for housebound and inactive people."

Your £200 could:

  • support 20 housebound people to do specialist seated exercises at home with a home exercise pack
  • support 40 older people to attend a tailored group exercise class, keeping them active, mobile and socially connected.
  • enable 100 housebound older people in Oxfordshire to receive a friendly phone call

You can donate via Just Giving. Alternatively, you can send your cheque to: Fundraising, Age UK Oxfordshire, 9 Napier Court, Barton Lane, Abingdon, OX14 3YT Questions contact: Anna McKay annamckay@ageukoxfordshire.org.uk 0345 450 1276

Thank you!