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“We’ve given people the power to safeguard themselves through offering CO education and alarms.”

A room of people sat around multiple tables, looking at a point off camera.

The Vine Centre shares how SGN: Safe and Warm funding helped their organisation.

The Vine Centre provides training and development opportunities, addiction support, mental health and anger management, budgeting and benefits support, counselling, support with homelessness and housing sustainment. They also run social groups to help combat social isolation and provide opportunities for the people they support to learn, grow, and feel empowered to make positive changes, and encourage sustainable independence. 

SGN: Safe and Warm funding enabled the Vine Centre to …

The SGN: Safe and Warm funding has enabled the Vine Centre to engage and support our service users to have a better understanding of energy issues. This has improved their mental health, wellbeing, and financial security.

Lesley Herniman, CEO
Signing up a client to the Priority Services Register (PSR)

How has SGN: Safe & Warm funding helped your organisation?

The funding has enabled us to give energy advice to the people we support. We encouraged a holistic view of energy – this involved supporting our clients to look beyond the numbers on their bills, and to consider energy use throughout the home. For instance, mindful appliance use (like bulk cooking and using air fryers), taking shorter showers, and finding out about new products that might help.

Additionally, we helped our clients organise their budgets and access benefits. This not only helps them afford their energy bills but also promotes longer-term financial stability.

How many households have you supported so far?

We supported over 300 households and surpassed three of our targets. We helped people save over £22,000 in energy costs collectively. In addition, we supported 90% of those households with:

We also helped 80% of households access energy efficiency measures.

The project has supported the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the Community to feel more empowered to understand energy issues, supported by our professional and supportive staff team.

How do you deliver this support to community members?

Our 1:1 offer can involve conducting, for example, preparatory work to assist our clients’ referrals to CAB or Step Change. This often starts with working through a carrier bag full of several months of unopened post.

Our group support offer includes sessions like Silvers (for over 55s), Culture Café (our training and development project), and the Cosy Hub. The Cosy Hub provides a warm space for people trying to minimise their heating costs as well as budgeting advice for those that need it.

We have also linked the SGN project with our Community Cupboard (our food poverty project) and Cooking with Confidence (our waste cookery classes) to provide energy-related support. This has ensured that our offer meets the current needs of the Community.

The client groups we have focused on are veterans, serving military, the Nepali community, those with learning difficulties, the elderly, vulnerable adults, and families (particularly those on low incomes and in work). 

What work have you done around the Priority Services Register (PSR)?

Our work has primarily raised awareness of its existence! Many of our clients had never heard of it, and others believed it was a paid service.

What work have you done around carbon monoxide awareness?

We gave a talk about carbon monoxide (CO) at Silvers, our 55+ social group, which proved really beneficial! Many residing in older homes were unsure about whether they had a CO monitor. By dedicating focused time to discussing this issue, we were able to engage in more extensive conversations. This space encouraged people to voice their questions and concerns, leading to a deeper understanding of carbon monoxide risks. We helped some with ordering monitors and even supplied a few. The talk helped them truly understand the seriousness of the dangers associated with CO.

I feel much safer in my home knowing I have the CO monitor now.

Silvers client
A room of people sat around multiple tables, looking at a point off camera.
A presentation about Carbon Monoxide for Silvers (Over 55’s group).