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£100,000 boost to help fuel poor in Toxteth

Vulnerable households in Toxteth are set to benefit from almost £100,000 of funding to help people living in fuel poverty.

Toxteth Citizen’s Advice Bureau has been awarded over £98,500 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to fund a Fuel Poverty Outreach Worker.

The worker will provide a specialist fuel poverty advice service to help clients maximise their income, providing assistance and access to financial skills training specifically targeted towards lone parents and people with mental health issues.

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust was established in November 2005 to fund not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable people including families, young people, the disabled and the elderly who need to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said:

“We are delighted to be able to assist the Toxteth Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

“The Trust is something special as it helps end fuel poverty by providing financial assistance to Charities and not for profit organisations who deal directly with individuals affected by it.”
“Different types of support are provided by projects funded by the Trust, including crisis funding, benefits entitlement check, energy efficiency measures and research – all measures to help alleviate fuel poverty.”

John O’Meara, Toxteth CAB Manager, said:

“We have already recruited the worker for this project and he has lots of experience within the CAB service and particularly in working with these target groups. Khaled Shalaby took  up the post on December 15th and we feel will make a huge contribution to this project.

“He will provide debt advice relating to fuel poverty, help and advice on fuel efficiency schemes, assistance to complete trust fund applications and also help individuals with their household budgeting.”

Newly appointed outreach worker, Khaled said:

“Through our research we found that lone parents and people with mental health problems were amongst the groups not accessing mainstream advice service. This obviously made them, and their families, particularly vulnerable to the effects of debt and fuel poverty. Hopefully the outreaches that will be established in mental health day centres and children’s centres etc will help to address the ‘accessibility’ issue.”

When complete, the Project is expected to assist approximately 3,600 individuals in the area.

So far, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded over £4.5m to 103 projects helping over 243,000 individuals in over 105,000 households throughout Britain.

Saturday, December 06, 2008