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Brighton and Hove based Amaze has welcomed the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to highlight the success of a project which secured £6million of additional benefits for families with disabled children.

Amaze, a registered charity which provides support to parents of children with special needs and disabilities was provided with funding of £90,000 by the Trust to help tackle fuel poverty among households with disabled children.
The project focussed on income and energy efficiency advice and assistance with team members trained to help clients maximise benefits they were entitled to claim. 

A total of 737 families were assisted with disability living allowance claims over the three years of the project which resulted in generating an extra £6million for the families helped. 

The charity which receives 4,000 enquiries from parents every year presented to the Trust highlighting its three year income and energy project which employed one full time member of staff supported by 10 volunteers. 

The initiative provided an all round approach to alleviating fuel poverty when more than 10% of a household’s income was spent on energy bills.  In addition, a newsletter with articles about energy efficiency and an energy efficient factsheet from Amaze were distributed to more than 1,400 families.

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

“We were pleased to visit Amaze and hear first hand the incredible difference the project has made to families in the Brighton area. 

“It is a fantastic achievement for an organisation to be given £90,000 and turn that into a £6 million benefit for families who need help in the local area.  Amaze has effectively turned every £1 the Trust donated to them into a benefit of £66 for disadvantaged households.  The average family who were helped increased their income by over £8,000.

“These exceptional increases in family household budgets as a result of Amaze advice services have helped relieve the stresses of fuel poverty and contribute to a better standard of living for the participating families.  We are proud to have been able to play our part in assisting this inspirational project.”

Lizzie Batten,  project co-ordinator at Amaze, said:

“We would like to thank ScottishPower Energy People Trust for its support and funding.  It has enabled us to reach families with disabled children to help them find extra income from unclaimed benefits and help lift them out of fuel poverty.

““It was a good opportunity to invite the Trust to hear first hand about the extensive work we have carried out using the funding it provided.  Hopefully everyone will be able to take away some positive learning that can be passed onto other projects in the future. “Many families in the Brighton area were unaware of the extra assistance that was available to them. The funding allowed us to visit them and spend time to help them with their disability living allowance claims and will continue to make a difference to local families for many years to come.”

Thursday, September 06, 2012