• The British Polio Fellowship

Charity launches heating appeal for those living with polio and its late effect


Despite the summer sun and warm temperatures, The British Polio Fellowship has launched its Winter Warmth Appeal. The appeal has been running for nearly 35 years and helps support polio survivors in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland keep their homes warm during the winter months.


One of the commonly reported symptoms for those now living with the late effects of polio or with a range of new or worsening polio-related conditions (known as Post-Polio Syndrome or PPS), is cold intolerance. This is a sensitivity to cold and means survivors experience muscle weakness, increased muscle pain and extreme tiredness.


The challenge survivors face in keeping warm increases with age and many experience falls and fractures, as the cold causes their muscles to fail. Only warmth can strengthen their muscles and reduce any profound discomfort or pain.


“As a polio survivor with breathing problems I need to keep my home warm, even during warm sunny days. Being intolerant to cold impacts my life in so many ways. I have muscle weakness, sleeplessness and circulatory problems” comments Linda Davis, Trustee and polio survivor


“Due to mobility problems many of us stay at home, making it even more important to keep our houses warm and now with increases in the cost of living it is becoming a real struggle.”


In April, the UK saw an unprecedented rise in energy bills and further rises are expected in October and early 2023.


“This year more than ever we need to help the polio community. With a significantly higher cost of living, the British Polio Fellowship is reaching out to charity fundraisers and supporters to ask for a donation to this year’s Winter Warmth appeal” explained Kripen Dhrona, Chief Executive Officer.


“All the money raised will go into our Heating Grants scheme which last year helped over 70 polio survivors, with a £150 heating allowance for those not eligible for the government grant. We expect this year to receive even more applications for help. That’s why we want to raise £10,000 to support polio survivors struggling to pay their heating bills and manage their polio symptoms.”


Donations for the Winter Warmth Appeal can be made on the British Polio Fellowship website https://www.britishpolio.org.uk/winter-warmth-appeal

Polio is caused by a virus that can result in paralysis and spreads easily from person to person, usually through contact with the poo of an infected person. Today, thankfully it is very rare in the UK because of the UK’s successful childhood vaccination programme.


Most polio survivors contracted the virus during the devastating polio epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s or before it was eradicated in 1984. Today, they are still living and having to cope with the disabling effects of this slow, degenerate disease.


Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

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