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  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

Charity awards polio survivors £150 towards heating bills

More than 80 polio survivors in the UK have been awarded £150 to put towards the cost of their heating bill, thanks to the British Polio Fellowship’s Heating Fund.

The Fund helps those who have had polio and are living with debilitating cold sensitivity, one of the many symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome(PPS), to lower the impact of their higher than average energy bills. Polio survivors who qualify for the Fund can use the award to supplement the cost of additional warmth during the winter months.

“With record high energy prices and the financial impact of COVID-19 many polio survivors will be plunged into fuel poverty this winter. The Heating Fund provided by The British Polio Fellowship (BPF) is a life-line to those living in a household where no one is eligible for the government Winter Fuel Payment. They have a low income and an extra need for heat because of their polio” explained Frances Quinn, BPF Trustee and heating appeal sponsor.

“Warmth is paramount for polio survivors and those affected by PPS. Not only were they typically left with restricted movement, but the muscle pain, weakness or paralysis that can emerge some 15 or more years after the first polio infection, means it’s difficult for their bodies to deal with extremes of temperature. Being active is problematic and so the cold weather has a significant impact on people’s ability to keep warm.”

Households have experienced a steep increase in their energy bills recently due to issues in supply and demand on the global wholesale market. The prices our providers are paying for gas and electricity reached an all-time high at the end of last year and that cost is now being passed onto the consumer.

“Like many others, our members have been self-isolating or shielding during the pandemic and have been at home much more than usual. This and rising energy prices has resulted in worryingly higher heating bills. That’s why the Board of Trustees approved a £150 Heating Grant award to each of the 84 eligible applications we received this year” added Kripen Dhrona, BPF’s new Chief Executive.

“None of this of course, would be possible without the continuous support and generosity of our donors who contributed to this years’ Winter Warmth Appeal.”

Since launching the Heating Fund over 30 years ago, BPF has made awards to thousands of polio survivors across the UK. This years’ award payments will be made on 31 January.

Photo: Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

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