Do you remember last winter, how bitterly cold it was for week after week?
Did you find you needed the central heating on for longer than usual, despite wearing extra layers?
Did you say to yourself ‘We must have the heating on now as it is so cold, and we’ll worry about the bills later?’
Well, just imagine what it was like for those people whose only income is means-tested benefits, or a reduced pension just above the benefit limit.
Those weeks of snow and ice, of nightly worry about freezing pipes and how to pay the bills. Fuel poverty is the technical term – it means you have to spend over 10% of your household income to keep your home at an adequate temperature – and the people the Benevolent Fund helps are in fuel poverty. The very young, the very old and the sick are at particular risk.
All the people we support are dentists or their dependents, yet over half of them rely on means tested benefits.
Every autumn, we give fuel grants to our beneficiaries to help with their winter fuel bills.
Last year was the most severe winter for 30 years, and we had to give additional grants in February to help with the extra costs, and to ensure people kept warm.
‘Thank you so much for the extra cheque – it is such a relief to know that I can turn the heating on without worrying about the bill next quarter,’ is a typical comment we receive.
So, next time you turn up the thermostat during a cold spell, please remember the Benevolent Fund.
The BDA Benevolent Fund is a registered charity, no 208146.
If you would like to contact us please call Sally Atkinson on 020 7486 4994 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.