Families in fuel poverty at the heart of new CSE project

‘Warm Families’ aims to help those with children

25 February 2011

Families in North Somerset are at the heart of one of CSE’s latest projects, which will provide the essential energy saving information and advice needed to help lift households with children from the misery of fuel poverty.

‘Warm Families’, a new two-year project with funding from ScottishPower’s Energy People Trust, will see CSE work alongside a number of existing agencies across North Somerset. For example, a ‘Safe and Warm’ day, in partnership with the local council and Avon Fire and Rescue, was held on February 23 for the residents of Portishead and the surrounding area.

“This was a great opportunity for our advisors to get out and meet families, whilst working with other organisations,” said CSE’s Louise Rutterford, who is managing the new project.

“We made draught proofing snakes for children to take home, had a lighting demonstration display and provided advice to local residents about the help available to them.

North Somerset consists of a number of built up areas, including Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, and Portishead, as well as a number of small, rural villages such as Barrow Gurney, Clapton-in-Gordano and Dundry.

Families across these areas will be able to access support from CSE via a number of different ways, including through home visits, outreach events and workshops. The aim will be for CSE advisors to:

  • help people understand more clearly their energy use
  • support families in fuel debt by enabling them to deliver manageable repayment plans
  • carry out home energy audits
  • ensure families receive appropriate entitlements, such as benefits and grants
  • support clients with grant applications for energy saving measures
  • make referrals to organisations and agencies who can provide further help

“We also have workshops lined up with schools in North Somerset to enable young people to understand their energy use – and hopefully take home lessons about energy efficiency. We’re planning to build model energy saving homes with them, run energy busters workshops to reduce energy consumption, and will also run energy efficiency games to help engage younger pupils,” Louise added.

To find out more about the new Warm Families project visit here.

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