3,700 excess deaths in Yorkshire and The Humber over winter 2020/21

7 December 2021

It’s not only about keeping warm, being able to heat your home is also about staying well.

At 21.1% or 3,700 excess deaths over 2020/21, Yorkshire and The Humber has a significant problem, with deaths related to a drop in temperature and inability to heat a home due to fuel poverty.

  • Fuel Poverty is where more than 10% of the household income is needed to heat the home.
  • Excess winter deaths are defined by the Office for National Statistics as the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding August to November and the following April to July

Yorkshire  and The Humber

  • There are 21.1% excess deaths during December 2020 to March 2021 (when compared to the preceding August to November 2021
  • 21.1% equates to 3,700 deaths
  • Not all those deaths are attributed to fuel poverty, but there is a proven link to excess deaths and temperature


  • In January 2021 the average temperature was  1.5 deg C colder than the 5-year average, with 716 more excess deaths above the 5-year average
  • While Covid-19 makes 2020/21 non-typical, the increase in excess deaths to unseasonally low temperature is clear in other years

Families with young children have the highest level of fuel poverty with one in five families suffering – that’s people with young children having to decide whether to put money to heat their home or for food.

Two Ridings Community Foundation are asking local people and businesses to donate to their Surviving Winter appeal as requests for support from people all over the region are coming in.

The Surviving Winter appeal asks people to donate their winter fuel allowance, if they can afford to, so it can be redistributed to people in need. Last year the foundation distributed £28,000 in this way. But this year a new way of contributing has come to light thanks to one generous donor.

The Surviving Winter appeal, launched last month, has already raised £5,000 to support vulnerable people through the harsh winter period, but from the requests for support coming in, much more is needed

Jan Garrill Chief Executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said:

In North and East Yorkshire one in seven people live in fuel poverty, which means over 75,000 households can’t afford to heat their homes and still pay for food.

With the pandemic’s impact continuing, combined with a huge surge in energy prices and a rise in the cost of living, local people are finding it impossible to make ends meet.

We recently had one of our regular donors getting in touch saying she wasn’t giving Christmas presents to family this year and was donating to Surviving Winter instead. She told us that there were people much more in need than her family and she was worried about the effects of Covid and the high cost of living on local people. We received a cheque for £1000 directly from her the next day.

If others decide to donate what they normally spend on Christmas presents it will make a huge difference across the region. Every penny donated by generous Yorkshire folk is distributed to those who need support at this difficult time of year.

The Surviving Winter appeal works with partner organisations in Yorkshire including Citizens Advice Bureaus, Refugee Action York, The Hinge in Bridlington and Hull Council of Disabled People who in turn give out grants requested by local people. They might spend the grant on fuel payment top-ups, support to change fuel supplier or even money to buy additional blankets and hot water bottles.

To make a difference locally this Christmas, donate to the Surviving Winter appeal. https://www.tworidingscf.org.uk/surviving-winter-fund/

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