Another boost for WHAM fuel poverty project

Additional funding means more caseworkers and more organisations on board to support fuel poor households.

2 September 2019

CSE’s WHAM fuel poverty project is growing even further. New funding from the Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC has meant two more caseworkers have been able to join the recently expanded team of three, for the remaining two years of the project.

WHAM is currently funded by the Bristol Impact fund, with additional support from Bristol Energy’s Fuel Good Fund, enabling the existing team of three caseworkers to assist people in Bristol who may be struggling with issues associated with living in fuel poverty.

The project works in partnership between CSE’s Home energy Team, Talking Money and We Care (Home Improvements) accessing skills, resources and support from each organisation.

And as well as expanding the team, the new funding will bring more organisations into partnership to help provide an even deeper level of support.

New caseworker Joe, is based at Citizens Advice, widening the services on offer to include things like housing and welfare rights, in addition to the existing support from We Care and Talking Money.

Jules, the other new caseworker, now rotates between the main hospitals in the area, helping to speed up the time it takes for people to return home if they have issues such as no heating or damp problems, which would otherwise prevent them from being discharged. Hospital staff can make referrals directly by to Jules, meaning work can begin and support can be given to alleviate fuel poverty even while the patient is still in hospital.

The WHAM caseworkers act as a single point of contact – co-ordinating support from the different organisations and keeping beneficiaries updated, not closing a case until all of the work is complete.

And if that wasn't enough, the area is expanding too! Caseworkers are now able to support people in North Somerset as well as Bristol.

Some funding will go to Bristol and North Somerset council to help co-ordinate the work, as well as supporting people with small energy saving home improvements such as draught proofing through their handyperson services.

Bristol Energy Network (BEN) has received some of the funding to help provide advice at events across the area and spread the word about the project.

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