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Brighton and Hove based AMAZE has helped families with disabled children secure £6 million of additional benefits they were entitled to claim.

The registered charity which provides support to parents of children with special needs and disabilities was provided with funding of £90,000 by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to help tackle fuel poverty among households with disabled children. 

AMAZE ran a three year project with one full time member of staff and supported by 10 volunteers which provided an holistic approach to alleviating fuel poverty when more than 10% of a household’s income is spent on energy bills.  With a focus on income and energy efficiency, team members were trained in benefits checks, energy efficiency advice and savings advice. 

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. 

In addition, a newsletter with articles about energy efficiency and an energy efficient factsheet from Amaze were distributed to over 1,400 families.

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

“Funding provided by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to Amaze has made an incredible difference to families with disabled children in the Brighton and Hove area and we are proud to have been able to play our part in helping them.

“It is a fantastic achievement for an organisation to be given £90,000 and turn that into a £6 million benefit for people requiring assistance in the local area.  Amaze has effectively turned every £1 the Trust donated to them into a benefit of £66 for disadvantaged families.  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.”

Lizzie Batten, the 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.

“Many families were unaware of the extra assistance that was available to them. The funding has 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.”

Established in November 2005, the Scottish Power Energy People Trust provides vital funding for 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.

To date, the Trust has awarded over £9 million to 182 projects helping over 1,520,579 people in 1,270,971 households throughout Britain.

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters.

Amaze works to empower parents to help their children live fully socially included lives.
Amaze is a one-stop shop offering information, advice and support for parents of children with special needs.

Thursday, January 26, 2012