As a part of Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign, the appeal for the public to Donate a Coat has been spurred on by a celebrity auction of coats and jackets. Donors included Dame Helen Mirren DBE, who said about the appeal ‘It’s a simple and quick way to get involved with a great cause which helps to keep older people well and warm in the winter’.
The auction, which ended on 8 December, included donations from celebrities including Carol McGiffin and actor Christopher Biggins. Television presenter Christine Bleakley, who donated three coats, explained the positive impact of donation: ‘Cold Weather can really have a devastating effect for vulnerable older people and by donating a coat you can help this really worthwhile campaign.’
Over 33,000 coats have been donated so far and resold at Age UK shops through the Donate a Coat appeal. In addition to generous public donations top fashion brands including Wallis, Topshop and Barbour have donated brand new coats free of charge to be sold in Age UK shops. This year 24,000 older people may not survive the cold weather, with an alarming rate of 200 preventable deaths per day. The Spread the Warmth campaign is working hard to ensure that older people keep warm and well throughout the winter.
From carrying out thorough winter benefit checks and the provision of handyperson services to serving nutritious meals at local lunch clubs, Spread the Warmth is ensuring that those older people who may feel isolated or need help are not alone. The Donate a Coat appeal is an easy way to contribute to this vital work.
For more information about the appeal please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/donateacoat and to get involved with Spread the Warmth or find out more visit http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/. For advice throughout the year, older people and their families can call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 6565.
Kim Murphy for Age UK