Helen Mirren donates Winter Fuel Payment to help poverty pensioners

PUBLISHED: 13:41 20 December 2012

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dame Helen Mirren doesn't need her Winter Fuel allowance to heat up her Docklands home at Wapping.

So the 67-year-old ‘actress queen’ who has played leading roles of both Queen Elizabeths has donated it to the London Community Foundation’s appeal for the elderly who cannot afford to heat their homes.

“It’s a tragedy that older people struggle to get through the winter,” she said. “I know I’m helping someone enjoy a warm winter by donating my Fuel payment to the appeal.”

The ‘Surviving Winter’ campaign has raised £1 million in just four weeks with similar donations, working with 11 groups in London including Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel.

Toynbee Hall’s Dave Barnard said: “Many pensioners face a stark choice between heating their homes or eating a healthy diet. Changes in the way State benefits are calculated means our poorest older people are more likely to try and endure the cold rather than turn their heating on.”

The campaign which helped 736 pensioners in London last winter is appealing to those who are not ‘fuel poor’ to donate some or all of their Winter Fuel payment, like Helen Mirren.

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