GLASTONBURY Festival organiser is dipping into his pocket and asking others to do the same so that people in Somerset don't go cold this winter.

Mr Eavis is again backing the annual Surviving Winter campaign, which encourages people to hand over some or all of their winter fuel payment to help people living in fuel poverty.

The initiative, being run by Somerset Community Foundation for the ninth year, aims to raise more than £100,000 to help isolated and vulnerable older people living in the county this winter.

Recently released data shows that in Somerset between 2014 and 2017 there were on average 440 excess winter deaths each year.

In the 2016/17, the latest winter period with reliable statistics, the rate of excess winter mortality in the county was 25 per cent higher than the average rate across the South West.

Typically, the region’s cities had much lower rates of excess winter deaths than rural areas, reflecting the greater prevalence of fuel poverty in rural areas, combined with isolation from essential services.

Mr Eavis, who has donated his 2018/19 winter fuel payment to the campaign, said: "I am so pleased that there are so many people who can transfer their winter fuel allowance to people who need it."

Andrew Ridgewell, programmes manager at Somerset Community Foundation, said: "When a person living in fuel poverty receives their Surviving Winter grant, not only does it help pay their heating bill, it is also the first step towards connecting them to one of our local Surviving Winter delivery partners.

"This can become the foundation for a new relationship which helps to overcome the isolation and loneliness many older people in our county experience.

"Last year’s campaign was our best campaign yet and, with your help, we are aiming to help even more people this winter."

To make a donation, send a cheque payable to Somerset Community Foundation (writing SW on the back), Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN; call 01749-344949 to pay over the phone; or go online at