In England, Stephen Fry is a man for all seasons. Documentarian, actor, and director for radio, TV, and screen. He is a champion for endangered species and slated for a big role in the upcoming The Hobbit series.
On the ground, Fry is urging Britons in Essex to support the elderly and vulnerable this winter.
Fry, and the Bishop of Chelmsford, along with the Essex Community Foundation (ECF) is pursuing a fundraising drive for donations for those aged over 60 who are needy, as reported by the Hertfordshire Mercury.
The 2012 Surviving Winter appeal has already generated more than £5,000 and intends to reach a goal of £50,000. Warm packs and food packs are essential items for the elderly and vulnerable. As well, extra financial support is being sought.
Mr.Fry told the Hertfordshire Mercury: "Millions of vulnerable and older people struggle with fuel poverty." He added: "With the weather getting colder and energy prices on the rise, they are more at risk than ever.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, added that it is easy to take comforts for granted during the cold winter months. But, heating brings significant challenges of maintaining human contact, a warm home and balancing costs. “The Surviving Winter Appeal recognizes such challenges and is there to help," said The Bishop.
Last winter, more than 600 elderly and vulnerable people died through a cause linked to the cold, said The Bishop. Winter can be a very isolating time and conditions can be very difficult. With fuel prices rising, many of elderly fear they will have to reduce heating their homes.
All concerned with the drive are working hard to keep the elderly safe and well during the winter months.