Home Energy Project Assistants
Recruiting and training people aged over 50 to become community energy advisors for their local area
Project duration: January 2012 to January 2015
Backed by the Big Lottery Fund, this 3-year project aims to recruit and train volunteers to become community energy advisors in their local area.
It will particularly target older people at risk of – or already suffering from – fuel poverty, the effects of which include cold homes, social isolation and ill health.
Full training and support will be offered to volunteers. This will consist of an informal induction session – CSE’s energy awareness course – plus further training specific to their role. Through shadowing CSE advisors on home visits and at events, volunteers will be able to build on their newly acquired knowledge and skills. Other roles available include office administration and marketing.
We are specifically looking for people aged over 50 from Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, and have had a great response from interested local people. The programme is currently full, however, we hope to offer further volunteering opportunities later this year.
The first group of volunteers will learn a wide range of energy related topics, including:
- Heating – types of heaters and boilers
- Heating controls
- Condensation and dampness
- Dealing with fuel debt
- Fuel tariffs
- Behavioural changes
Find out more
The project held three sessions for potential volunteers which covered three of the four areas in which the project operated. These took place Bristol, Weston-Super-Mare and Bath during July of 2012.
Fuel poverty among older people in the South West
Research undertaken by CSE and other organisations (see for example You Just Have to Get By) has pointpointed three issues:
- That older people in the South West are at greater risk of fuel poverty than other age groups.
- That older people require better advice and support to stay warm at home.
- That older people in fuel poverty are less likely to participate in the life of their community.
It is critical that older people receive appropriate and good quality advice and support , and that they are enabled to help themselves, for example by understanding their heating controls and making best use of their appliances so that their energy budget stretches as far as possible.
The aim of this project is to train older people to provide advice to their peers, and to train local groups to understand the signs of fuel poverty and refer clients for support.
To register interest in being part of the volunteer programme contact Kate Thomas on 0117 934 1429 or email email@example.com.