top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

Winter Warmth Appeal launches to support polio survivors

Thousands of people contracted the polio virus during the devastating polio epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s, or before the virus was largely eradicated in 1984. Today, these people who are still having to cope with the disabling effects of this slow, degenerative disease, are in danger of suffering severe pain or becoming seriously ill, because of the cold.

The Winter Warmth Appeal was launched nearly 35 years ago by the British Polio Fellowship and has eased the suffering of many polio survivors, because of cold weather.

The Fellowship collects generous donations and shares them with vulnerable polio survivors struggling to heat their homes to stay warm and healthy during the winter.

"People who have had polio, feel sensitivity to cold temperatures or a sudden drop in temperature, resulting in muscle weakness, increased muscle pain and extreme tiredness. They also struggle to regain their body heat once it dips below 36 or 37°C, which is why they need to stay comfortable and warm. But that's tricky with the cost of heating and the threat of energy prices rising again.

“Even doing more exercise is difficult for someone who has had polio, because they can make their condition worse. Many older survivors are confined to wheelchairs or have walking aids, which means being physically energetic isn’t really an option. That’s why the Fellowship introduced the Winter Warm Appeal" commented Sue Brown, Trustee and Lead for this years' appeal.

Brown is calling for donations from charity fundraisers and supporters to help the polio community across the UK, battle the cold this year, and not be forced to cut their energy usage and further impact their health problems.

"Winter 2022-23 was a successful year for the appeal. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we raised almost £19,000, allowing us to make individual grants of £200" added Brown. “We thank everyone for their support and generosity and hope to achieve, at least, the same again this year”.

To make a donation to the Winter Warmth Appeal you should go to the Fellowship website or call the Fellowship direct on 0800 043 1935. Every penny raised from the Appeal goes towards providing Heating Grants.

If you are a polio survivor and need support from the fund, contact the Fellowship in the same way.

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. The virus was found in sewage water in London last year, but thankfully cases are rare in the UK, because of the UK’s successful childhood vaccination programme.

65 views0 comments


bottom of page