CSE wins bid for £300,000 from National Lottery

Award will help banish the cold for thousands of older people

19 October 2011

Spiralling fuel costs mean it is increasingly difficult for older people living in fuel poverty to stay warm. But a National Lottery good cause funded project will help to improve the lives of older people in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

CSE has been awarded funding of £298,613 to deliver the OPEN (Older People’s Energy Network) project allowing us to continue to improve access to good quality home energy advice, increasing the quality of life of older people living in the former Avon area. The project will reach some 3,000 people who are at risk of ill health and social isolation as they cannot afford to heat their homes.

[Click here to read about the early origins of OPEN.]

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of CSE, said: “The challenge faced by older people to keep their homes healthily and affordably warm in winter is intensifying. Without help, many will have no choice but to go cold rather than run up bills they can’t afford.

"And with the cold come dangers of chronic ill-health, misery and social exclusion – who invites friends round to a home where you need to wrap up in a blanket and coat to keep warm?

“With this support from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme, CSE will be able to help older people to face this challenge and tackle the misery of cold homes across the West of England.”

The OPEN project will enable the targetting of the most vulnerable households in the West of England and support them with home visits, in-depth advice, case-work and follow up support around energy, housing and finances including energy efficiency measures, benefits entitlements, fuel-debt repayment plans and improvements to homes in disrepair.

The grant will also enable CSE to train and support older people to act as advisors in their own communities, and with their friends and neighbours, passing on energy expertise, skills and understanding.

This grant is one of seven South West projects to receive funding totalling £1.5m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme which aims to help those most in need and build stronger communities.

For more information about this project, please contact Sarah Jeffrey.

Image by Jamie King and reproduced under creative commons

Stay up to date with our work - sign up for our fortnightly newsletter