NEARLY 60 per cent of pensioners polled by the Chronicle worry about how they will pay their heating bills and stay warm during the winter.
After launching this year's Surviving Winter Appeal, which provides vital aid to elderly members of our community during the colder times, the Chronicle hit the streets and asked more than 300 pensioners about their winter worries.
And as the leader of Chelmsford City Council, Roy Whitehead, pledged his support to the appeal we are urging our readers to once again dig deep and help make a difference this winter.
The Chronicle backed appeal which raised £35,0000 last year is run by the Essex Community Foundation and supported by Age UK Essex and the British Red Cross.
Cllr Roy Whitehead said: "I am very pleased to give my support to the Surviving Winter Appeal.
"The partnership between three local and well-respected charities, Essex Community Foundation, Age UK Essex and British Red Cross, means that through the appeal, the right help will get to the right people.
"I would urge those who feel able to support the appeal to give generously, particularly those people who would like to recycle their winter fuel payment."
The appeal encourages residents who wish to recycle their winter fuel payment - a sum of money given to everyone aged 60-plus, no matter their income, to help pay winter heating bills.
The payment or any other cash donations are then distributed to organisations or individuals to help them cope through the winter. This year the appeal hopes to raise £50,0000.
Pensioner, Alan Carr, from Chelmsford, said "I do struggle a bit, I begrudge paying the prices we have to, despite the £200 allowance we get and the prices always go up a lot in the winter."
Christine Cave, from Chelmsford, added: "I never leave my heating on when I'm out or overnight, I know we're supposed to but I just can't afford it."
John Bateman, from Chelmsford, said "I struggle to pay my bills. I don't think pensioners should pay tax on anything."
Doreen Fincham, from Chelmsford, said "I'd struggle without the allowance we get, I really hope it's not taken away as I have to watch every bit of money I spend as it is."