Help us to keep their hearth alight

£34,589 raised of £60,000 target

When a father disappears from a home, the light goes out, the hearth goes cold and, with it, hope fades. Living in this intense darkness are the wives and children of prisoners, like sister Maryam and her family. Theirs is a silent grief and poverty unknown and unnoticed by most. When the cold sets in this winter, and we turn up our thermostats, a family like Maryam’s might be trembling in the chill of a broken home just next door to ours.

This winter, over 200 households affected by detention and counter-terror measures will be facing the hard choice between food on the table and heating in their homes. With fuel poverty blighting 2.5 million households in the UK, many of which have primary breadwinners in work, HHUGS families don’t stand a chance.

We need your help to support single mothers, children without fathers, and elderly parents isolated from their communities. Some have no income at all, and have likely had their assets confiscated. Burdened by debts and harassed by bailiffs, they struggle to survive on the bare minimum throughout the year. Now with the onset of winter colds, they will be fighting hypothermia, exposure and sickness, on top of everything else.

The UK has the second worst rate of excess winter deaths in Europe, with 168,000 recorded in the past five years. Those most vulnerable are children and the elderly, who are quick to fall ill or suffer from existing ailments, exacerbated by the cold. But fuel poverty and cold homes don’t just cause cardiovascular or respiratory diseases with lasting effects. They also cause mental health problems, which prevent children from performing well at school, and can further isolate people.

“Taking care of the poor in the
winter and protecting them from
the cold is a great deed.” IBN RAJAB AL-HANBALI

Winter clothing to keep her children warm

“Whoever clothes (a believer) will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise.” AT-TIRMIDHI

Come winter, many HHUGS families are forced to cut back on food or clothing in order to be able to turn the heating on for a while in their homes. With just £30 we can provide clothing vouchers that will allow a single mother like Maryam to buy her children coats, jumpers and other essential clothing to keep them warm.

“I have borrowed extra money from someone to help get coats, socks, gloves, hats for my children. I have no money to pay him back. I have to put the heating on and the cost is too high so sometimes I turn it off as I know I cannot afford it…”

Duvets and blankets to protect them from the night’s chill

Barely able to afford heating in the day, many families will go without during the night, putting themselves at risk of sickness. For the elderly, exposure to the extreme cold in this way, can lead to death. For £40 we can provide a family with single or double winter duvets and blankets to keep them protected from the night’s bitter cold.

"In Winter, they send us vouchers for clothing and sent us duvets to keep us warm. Allah knows the difference that HHUGS made to my life."

Cover the cost of their heating bill to get them through winter

Some HHUGS families are barely able to pay bills or buy food. Come winter, their situation becomes all the more dire, with their limited budget failing to cover the high cost of heating a home. By contributing £300 towards their gas and electric bill this winter, we can help Maryam’s family stave off the winter colds. With £300, they can get through the cold months without having to cut back on food or other essential needs.

“After paying rent, I’m left with nothing. I don’t know when I’ve been shopping last time. I would show you my kitchen cupboard now, but I’m embarrassed. I have to remind myself, ‘Stop eating now because you don’t have anything for tomorrow.’”

Pay their rent to save them from eviction

With their assets confiscated and benefits frozen, some families of prisoners are unable to pay the rent. Facing eviction in the blithe of these cold months is a terrifying thing. With £500 we can help a family like Maryam’s pay their rent for the month, and ensure they aren’t left to sleep rough this winter.

"They helped me with rent payments, without which we would be homeless. They paid for food and winter clothing. I had so much debt when I contacted HHUGS but they helped me pay off my rent arrears, my water bill and my council tax arrears, which lifted a huge burden off my shoulders."

“Winter is booty for the
devout worshippers.” Umar ibn Al-Khattab