The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation is busting out its now famous cashmere red scarves in a winter appeal for some of those most struggling in our community.

Donate $100 or more in June and BGF will send you a wool/cashmere blend red scarf as thanks.

The theme of this year’s appeal is Home is where the heart is and all money raised will go towards BGF’s support accommodation program, allowing more people with HIV/AIDS to find and maintain a place to live.

BGF CEO Bev Lange said rising rental prices in the Sydney market and the overall increased cost of living were affecting everyone, but the winter months can be a particular burden for some.

It is estimated almost 10,000 people are now living with HIV in NSW and 37 percent of these are living below the poverty line, Lange said.

Winter can be a particularly tough time as additional heating and medical costs can make the financial burden overwhelming. During the 2007 winter months, the amount BGF assisted its clients with for their electricity and gas bills alone increased by 44 percent.

BGF’s support accommodation program has helped people like 45-year-old Amos who became too sick to work last year but wasn’t eligible for government assistance because he had only lived in Australia for three years.

With no money coming in, I couldn’t pay my bills and by September I was homeless, he said. BGF gave me support with housing, medications and counselling.

Donations can be made via the BGF website at www.bgf.org.au.

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