Surviving Winter Fuel Fund

Description: The Surviving Winter Fund aims to raise money to offer financial support to the people most at risk in Cornwall, helping them to stay warm, active and healthy. Grants are made over the winter months to charitable organisations and agencies throughout Cornwall, for distribution to people on low incomes who are struggling to heat their homes and maintain a reasonable quality of life.

Type: Individuals

Status: Open

Maximum: Organisations can apply for a sum of between £500 and £5,000

Opening: 16/11/2022


Notes: These funds are for distribution in the winter months only, all funds must be spent by 31st March 2023. Decisions are made weekly.






Local charities and community organisations have a special role in reaching some of the people most at risk in our communities, developing trusted relationships and implementing practical support programmes that work. The work of local organisations is often preventative or complementary to statutory services.

The Surviving Winter Fund aims to raise money to offer financial support to the people most at risk in Cornwall, helping them to stay warm, active and healthy. These funds can be accessed through a wide range of referral agencies throughout the county and are to help households with children, households with pensioners, households with disabled people and other households genuinely in need of support this winter. This year the fund has been supported by the Household Support Fund to reach even more vulnerable households this winter.

If your organisation would like to apply to administer these funds please see below how the grants should be distributed.

Third party organisations may include but are not limited to:

  • Registered charities and voluntary organisations
  • Schools
  • Food banks
  • General Practitioners
  • Care organisations

How much is awarded and how often? Third party organisations can apply for a sum of between £500 and £5,000 depending on their capacity. The organisation then distributes these funds at their discretion to people most at risk, who are in poverty in order to help them stay well and warm during the winter months. These will generally be people who already use the organisation’s service and are known to them. We ask that small amounts of money, usually £50 to a maximum of £200, are made available but in exceptional circumstances the Foundation’s Advisory Panel can be asked to consider a specific request for a larger grant. An organisation can also apply for a top-up grant once its initial fund is used up and reporting has been provided to CCF (please see below for the reporting requirements).

The types of support that can be offered: 

  • Cash awards
  • Vouchers
  • Tangible items (i.e. clothing or household items)
  • Other

Eligible spend includes:

  • Food: The Fund should primarily be used to provide support with food whether ‘in kind’ or through vouchers or cash
  • Energy and water: The Fund should also primarily be used to support with energy bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders. It can also be used to support with water bills including for drinking, washing, cooking, and sanitary purposes and sewerage
  • Essentials linked to energy and water: The Fund can be used to provide support with essentials linked to energy and water (including sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler service/repair, purchase of equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens, etc.), in recognition that a range of costs may arise which directly affect a household’s ability to afford or access food, energy and water. We encourage households on low incomes to repair or replace white goods and appliances with more energy efficient ones, or to invest in simple energy efficiency measures which will pay back quickly, such as insulating a hot water tank, fitting draft excluders to a front door, or replacing inefficient lightbulbs or white goods. The intention of this is to provide sustainable support which could result in both immediate and long-lasting savings for the household.
  • Wider essentials: The Fund can be used to support with wider essential needs not linked to energy and water, these may include, but are not limited to, support with other bills including broadband or phone bills, clothing, and essential transport-related costs such as paying for fuel. This list is not exhaustive
  • Housing costs: In exceptional cases of genuine emergency where existing housing support schemes do not meet this exceptional need, the Fund can be used to support housing costs.

Eligible spend does not include:

  • Advice services such as debt advice
  • Mortgage costs
  • Holidays or respite breaks
  • Specialised equipment (e.g. wheelchairs, stair lifts, Motability schemes)
  • Structural or landscaping renovations
  • Televisions, video and audio equipment or television license fees
  • Medical treatments and prescription fees
  • Computer hardware or software
  • Core funding for organisational running costs

Reporting requirements?
We ask the organisation to complete a summary sheet (provided within the outcome email) when funds are distributed to households. This will form evidence of the grant spend. Additionally, we will send you a simplified online monitoring form to complete where you will be able to attach the summary sheet as evidence of spend.  Both documents form part of the reporting requirements and must be completed.

When requesting a top-up the above information needs to be completed and sent back to CCF.

The completed reporting documents must be returned to the Foundation no later than the 31st March 2023 or as soon as the grant monies have been spent. Any unspent monies must also be returned by this date. If all reporting information is received satisfactorily, you may request a top-up grant as long as it is before the above date.

We will endeavour to distribute the funds to a wide spread of organisations across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Apply online: begin your application

NB: As part of the Household Support Fund we need to know how many households you plan to reach with children and households without children, part of this will include a breakdown of how much will be spent towards food, energy and water, essentials linked to energy and water, wider essentials and housing costs.

PDF guidelines can be downloaded here Surviving Winter Guidelines

Useful information

Support for residents struggling with the cost of living – Cornwall Council

Wellbeing guides

Community Gateway

Worried about money leaflet