Thousands living in cold homes to benefit from Lottery grant

CSE awarded over £400,000 to help disabled people stay warm

15 September 2015

CSE is celebrating the news of a £428,044 award from the Big Lottery. Spread over four years, this substantial grant will support 5,500 disabled people across the West of England (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) who live in cold homes, struggle to pay for their fuel bills or need additional assistance to stay warm at home.

“This is one of our biggest grants ever” said Ian Preston, CSE's Head of Home Energy Services, “and it will mean that many thousands of people who desperately need our help will get it. For disabled people fuel poverty has serious implications for their health and quality of life. Many disabled people and their carers are at a much higher risk of fuel poverty, because they have on average lower incomes and additional fuel costs arising from disability.

“It’s a terrific development, and we’re thrilled that Big Lottery supported our bid.”

The grant will pay for in-depth, personalised one-to-one support through home-visits, outreach events, advice surgeries and follow-up help. People can also contact CSE directly (we have a freephone number).

Practical support will be provided to understand energy use, systems, switching suppliers and to deal with fuel debt. Energy efficiency measures will also be carried out in homes where possible – for example cavity wall or loft insulation, replacing old and inefficient boilers, and draught-proofing.

“Amazingly, this project is the only one of its kind working specifically with disabled people to help them keep warm through the winter” said project manager, Kate Thomas. “We’re aware that lots of vulnerable people are dreading the forthcoming winter that’s on the way, which for them means being cold and uncomfortable and often ill and in low spirits. With this grant we’re really in a position to help.”

For the kind of home-visit that we’ll be able to do lots more of, see the video below. 

This grant was part of £3.8 million in National Lottery funding for the South West announced on 15 September. In all, over 100 community projects across the South West were funded, with CSE’s award being the highest.

If you want to speak to someone about this project, contact Kate Thomas (after 1 October) on 0117 934 1429 or kate.thomas@cse.org.uk


For more about the work of our home energy advice team, see our ‘love your home’ website: www.cse.org.uk/advice

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