Focussing on the needs of elderly and vulnerable people in the Mendip district of Somerset
Project duration: November 2007 to July 2010
This is a lottery-funded project that aims to be a one-stop source of energy advice for people living in the Mendip area of Somerset. Below are the main aims and objectives for the project from the outset:
- Identify people who live in cold damp homes, or who are struggling to pay their fuel bills
- Support clients through applications for the state benefits to which they are entitled
- Ensure that grant aided energy efficiency measures are installed wherever possible
- Provide advice on behavioural changes that can reduce future energy use
It has been identified that there are 5,000 people living in fuel poverty in Mendip, the largest numbers of whom are concentrated in the towns of Frome, Glastonbury, Street, Shepton Mallet and Wells.
The project will hold outreach advice events in places and at times where we can be sure of reaching high numbers of our target groups, for example lunch clubs, bingo sessions, flu jab clinics, farmers' markets, mother and baby groups.
Through previous community projects we have identified that a key barrier to getting insulation installed is that the loft is being used for storage and there isnít anyone available to help clear it. Through this project we are going to set up a loft clearance scheme in conjunction with Mendip Care and Repair.
Once a potential service user has been proactively identified, we will ensure that CSE project staff support them through the often confusing set of applications they must make to access the help they need.
We will provide 'trigger training' to a range of referral partners across Mendip. The training will give them information about energy efficiency, the benefits system and how to spot when one of their clients is in need of help that can be offered through the project.
We will publicise the project through local media and we will also be reaching householders through a mailout of leaflets in target wards. Finally, it is our experience that some hard to reach individuals can be reached through a trusted friend or neighbour who has already gone through the process and is pleased with the results. Therefore we intend to design a simple leaflet that will allow those who have been helped by the scheme to 'Tell A Neighbour'.
The project was launched on 1 November 2007 with a project development phase for two months, and will last for 30 months.