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Dedicated Chairman retires from ScottishPower Energy People Trust

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is saying a fond farewell to long standing chairman Hammy Smillie and welcoming incoming chairman Norman Kerr.

Hammy has been chair of the Trust, which funds not-for-profit groups that help people whose lives are affected by fuel poverty, since its inception in November 2005.
In the five years as chairman, he has overseen funding in excess of £8m provided to programmes run by grassroots organisations that help people struggling to pay their energy bills due to low incomes, poor housing or ill-health.  It has assisted 160 projects across Britain which has helped around 1.5million people.

Hammy Smillie, retiring chairman from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, said:

“In my working life as business and community relations director with ScottishPower, I acquired a deep interest and involvement in the setting up and operation of trusts to help utility customers who have real debt problems.  I was delighted to be asked to chair the ScottishPower Energy People Trust back in 2005 and feel I have had an effective and worthwhile tenure.  

“Decisions to award funding are made independently of ScottishPower by our experienced board of trustees who have a special interest in fuel poverty.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them all and would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication over the years.

“I have visited many projects which we have assisted and they are undertaking exceptional work in their local communities.  The thing that is especially important to me is the positive impact these projects have on people who are in very difficult situations.”

Current trustee Norman Kerr will be taking over as chairman of the Trust and is looking forward to his new role.

He has a passion for tackling fuel poverty, having worked in this field for a number of years as director at Energy Action Scotland.

Norman said: “I have drive and enthusiasm for programmes that work to solve fuel poverty at many different levels and jumped at the chance when I was asked to be involved in the work of the Trust. It’s very fulfilling to be part of something that was designed to give support to some of the most vulnerable groups in our society. 

“Hammy Smillie is a hard act to follow and I think the Trust under his chairmanship has been on the right course. I’d like to keep steering it along that path, supporting groups who work with families and children. I’d also like to work with more fuel poverty research projects and I know that is something that my fellow Trustees would also welcome.

“Decisions over which projects to fund are not taken lightly - it is a very heavy responsibility saying yes and also sadly having to say no. However, the trustees are exceptional people and I’m sure we will continue to make the right decisions and support projects that in many cases are life changing for the people they work with.”
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters.

For further information on the Trust, please visit: 

Friday, February 04, 2011