Since we started packing last September, we have welcomed hundreds of volunteers who have together packed an outstanding 14,000 gift bags and information packs.

The last five months have been the busiest we have ever been, experiencing firsthand, the impact that rising energy costs are having on vulnerable, older people across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. The increase in demand saw us return in January to pack a further 2,000 Warm in Winter gift bags, something we have never had to do.

Thousands of hand written messages, hot drinks, packets of soup, sachets of porridge, blankets and gloves have been packed into our bags with over 130 partner organisations visiting us to fill their cars and vans.

This year, has been unprecedented for many reasons, not least as we took our first steps into a new county. 1,000 Warm in Winter gift bags with area specific Purple Pages information packs have been distributed across Bedfordshire. We have made wonderful new partners who have been welcoming and more than happy to help us reach those in need.

We have seen amazing acts of kindness from everyone who have so generously given of their time to help us reach the many thousands of people who are struggling this winter. Families, individuals, friends, colleagues and even pets - we have had such fun meeting so many people. It’s been a fantastic few months making new friends and welcoming old ones.

We just couldn’t have achieved any of this without the support,  hard work and kindness of our volunteer family, partners and funders. It is the result of a huge team effort and most definitely a shining example of how working together makes us stronger so that together we can connect communities with kindness.