Charities gear up for extra demand as cold weather takes hold

WRVS launches first emergency appeal, Crisis launches extra fundraising campaign and age charities fear a dent in trading income

Crisis: 'spontaneous' campaign
Crisis: 'spontaneous' campaign

Some charities have launched special campaigns to cope with extra demand for their services in the longest cold snap in 30 years.

WRVS, which helps older people, has launched its first emergency appeal because of snow. Michael Dent, relationship development manager, said resources were "stretched to the limit".

The charity hopes to raise extra funds to cover costs incurred because of the severe weather, such as hiring 4x4 vehicles and additional staff. There is greater demand for its meals-on-wheels service and help with shopping, home tasks and transport. Emergency response teams are on standby to run rest centres or help people stranded at home.

Homelessness charity Crisis has also launched an emergency £25,000 fundraising campaign. The appeal, a development of an awareness campaign run during last February's snow, features on social networking sites and the organisation's website. The charity emailed 24,000 existing supporters.

Crisis has also set up a cold weather centre in London with St Mungo's, the capital's largest homeless charity, which will remain open until the weather improves.

The cold snap could cost Age Concern and Help the Aged £500,000 in lost trading income, the charity has warned.

The older people's charity has launched an appeal for urgent donations from the public as the adverse weather conditions have prevented many of its shops from opening and collection vans from going out. The shops that have opened have noticed a fall in business.

Fiona Phillips, an ambassador for Age Concern and Help the Aged and a former GMTV presenter, is backing the appeal. "I'm urging everyone to donate whatever they can to their local Age Concern and Help the Aged shops as soon as possible," she said.



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