WHAM - Collaborating to solve poverty in Bristol
Working with Talking Money and WE Care & Repair to support Bristolians in fuel poverty
Project duration: July 2017 ongoing
The WHAM project is an innovative new model for supporting Bristol’s most vulnerable residents – giving advice on energy, money, and carrying out home repairs. We’re working together with Talking Money and WE Care & Repair to provide a comprehensive service to Bristolians living in fuel poverty and financial hardship.
WHAM will help particularly those on a low income, single parents and unemployed people living in the private rented sector.
This four year project - which began in July 2017 - employs two caseworkers (see photo) to work across all three organisations, acting as a single point of contact for people using the service.
The support offered by the three core organisations will cover:
- Budgeting advice
- Income maximisation checks to make sure people are receiving any benefits or financial support they are entitled to
- Energy advice including dealing with fuel debt, switching tariff or supplier, using heating systems efficiently
- Basic home repairs and improvements
The project will also use CSE’s, Talking Money’s and WE Care & Repair’s strong local connections to refer clients on for in-depth help with other local organisations such as The Matthew Tree Project and Bristol Aging Better.
“This is the first time that Bristolians have been able to access these services from a single point," said Lisa Evans, CSE’s project lead. "This makes it much easier for people to get the help they need and hopefully make sure that fewer people slip through the cracks.
"We want everyone to be warm, well, safe at home, and not having to cut back on food or other essentials. Hopefully this project will go some way to achieving that.”
WHAM has recruited and trained a team over a dozen volunteers and local voluntary groups to spot people who might need help and refer them on to a relevant organisation.
WHAM has been funded by Bristol City Council through the Bristol Impact Fund, with additional funding from the Bristol Energy Fuel Good Fund going towards supporting caseworks to deliver in-depth support to even more households.