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. 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.

Type: Individuals

Status: Open

Maximum: The grants range from £500 - £5000

Opening: 13/11/2023


Notes: These funds are for distribution in the winter months only, all funds must be spent by 31st March 2024. Decisions are made weekly.

This year the Surviving Winter Fund has been supported by the Household Support Funding 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)

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:

  • 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

Reporting requirements?
We kindly 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 an online monitoring form to complete where
you will be able to attach the summary sheet. 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.

As part of the Household Support funding, we are obliged to capture certain information for Cornwall Council. We therefore ask you to let us know a breakdown of your estimated costs for food, energy and water, essentials linked to energy, wider essentials and housing costs separately for vulnerable households with children, households with pensioners, disabled people and any other vulnerable households. We would also like you to identify how will you be offering this support i.e. through cash, vouchers, tangible items and/or other means.

For example:
14 households with children in total (we need to know how many households in total will be supported and where households are receiving multiple forms of support i.e. for food and electric please only count the household once under the below categories where they will be receiving the greater support from).

a. Food: 3 households x £10 each = £30 (distributed by cash)
b. Energy and water: 4 households x £20 each = £80 (distributed by vouchers)
c. Essentials linked to energy and water: 5 households x £20 each = £100 (distributed by tangible items)
d. Wider essentials: 2 households x £30 each = £60 (distributed by other means)

10 households with pensioners
Breakdown like example above.
Without receiving a breakdown like the above example, we are unable to process your application and please remember no double counting!

The completed reporting documents must be returned to the Foundation no later than the 31st March 2024 or as soon as the grant monies have been spent, whichever is the sooner. 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.

The Surviving Winter Fund is the equivalent of the Cost of Living for Individuals Fund, albeit run during the winter months. You must report back on previous funding before requesting a top-up from the Surviving Winter Fund.

Apply online: begin your application

Useful information

Cornwall Council deliver the Crisis and Care Awards. Crisis awards are for those in emergency or disaster situations to help them and their families with immediate needs. Care awards help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in their community. Please click here for further information.

A 7-day point of access to a wide range of voluntary sector support – Community Gateway

Financial advice and support is available if you’re struggling to make ends meet – Worried about money leaflet