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WHAM (Warmer homes, advice and money)

A photo of a woman with osteoporosis who was supported by WHAM

Working in partnership to tackle poverty in Bristol, BANES and North Somerset.

Update: April 2024

Wham has received 2-year funding from Wales & West Utilities to continue working to tackle fuel poverty in Bristol and North Somerset, and to extend the programme into Bath & Northeast Somerset (B&NES) with three additional partners there.

WHAM (Warmer Homes, Advice & Money) supports Bristol, B&NES and North Somerset’s most vulnerable residents by giving advice on energy, money, benefits and carrying out home repairs.

We particularly help those on low incomes and those struggling to afford to heat their homes.

I was at my wits end and don’t know what I would have done without Neal from WHAM. He really helped me to fight my corner.

My partner’s breathing is much better thanks to the dehumidifier he got us, and we’ve changed how we use our heating which saves us money.

Jack, Bristol

The project is an almost unprecedented example of multi-agency working. Our caseworkers rotate between partner organisations, co-ordinating support and acting as a single point of contact for clients.

WHAM has been recognised as an example of good practice, sustainable and innovative advice provision by Public Health England and Ofgem.

WHAM has been running since 2017.

The following organisations are partners with Centre for Sustainable Energy in WHAM: Talking Money; We Care Home Improvements (Bristol and B&NES); Citizens Advice (Bristol, B&NES, North Somerset); North Bristol Advice Centre; AMS Electrical; Bristol Energy Network; Clean Slate.

The project is also supported by Bristol, North Somerset and B&NES councils.

WHAM has supported 5,021 households to the value of £3.24m in financial savings and benefits.

Graphic showing logos of WHAM partners listed above.

WHAM supports people with:

“This is the first time that residents have been able to access these services from a single point,” said Lisa Evans, CSE’s project lead.

“This makes it much easier for people to get the help they need and keep in touch with their allocated caseworker making sure fewer people fall through the cracks.

“We want everyone to be warm, well and safe at home. We want people to understand how to use their heating efficiently, what benefits they could be entitled to and how to budget so they avoid having to cut back on food or other essentials. This project goes some way to achieving that.”

Refer a client to WHAM

If you have a client or patient who could benefit from the support that WHAM offers, you can refer them using the form on this page

Being diagnosed with a life changing illness was awful, but the support I received through WHAM was amazing. Without help with my heating issues and financial support, I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you very much.

Jane, Clevedon

Working in hospitals

WHAM works closely with the main hospitals in our area: Southmead Hospital in Bristol, Weston General and Bristol Royal Infirmary. We help address issues which can prevent patients from being discharged such as poor or non-existent heating or damp problems in their homes.

Hospital staff can make referrals directly to WHAM, meaning work can begin and support can be given to alleviate fuel poverty even while the patient is still in hospital.

As a single parent of three – two with additional needs – and on a low income, WHAM been a godsend. I saved over £500 a year. Joe, my caseworker, fitted draught excluders around our home to stop the cold air coming in. Many thanks!

Clare, Somerset.

Partnership working

We’ve recruited and trained a team of volunteers and local voluntary groups to spot people who might need help and refer them on to the WHAM project.

WHAM is now in its seventh year and currently funded by Energy Redress, Wales & West Utilities and North Somerset council.

WHAM impact

Read more about this unique project in our impact report (up to February 2023 – updated edition coming soon).

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