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Today, DIAL Barnsley has announced that over 548 disabled people and carers in the local area are receiving extra energy support this winter, thanks to the an innovative advice project supported by £38,000 funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust. The 2 year project is currently half way through and hopes to have helped over 700 people upon completion next winter.

Since 1985, DIAL Barnsley’s staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to support clients and continually develop services in response to their needs. The organisation strives to help disabled people in Barnsley lead “a life without boundaries”. Recognising that keeping on top of bills can be such a ‘boundary’ to disabled people and carers in particular, in November 2012 DIAL Barnsley created its energy advice project to help offer further support.

Since its establishment, the project has visited hundreds of vulnerable families in their homes, sharing advice and practical knowledge on how to save energy. On top of helping hundreds of people become more energy efficient, the project has also helped its clients access relevant unclaimed benefits, totalling over £285,360.

Jenny* who has been helped by the project said: “The advisor at DIAL could really identify with what I was going through and offered me lots of valuable hints and tips on how to save money on my bills. As a result of her help and support I am now financially better off and my overall quality of life has improved."

Jill Morton, Development Manager at DIAL Barnsley, said: “We developed this project in response to our clients’ increasing need for advice on energy related matters. We are obviously delighted that the ScottishPower Energy People Trust continues to support this project which has proved to be of enormous benefit to local disabled people.”

Ann Loughrey, Company Secretary and Trustee of the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, said: “DIAL Barnsley is already well established in the area offering disabled people and carers a range of services. Thanks to funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, they have been able to provide specialised energy efficiency advice to those who are particularly vulnerable in the community and we are delighted to have supported this valuable project.”

*Name has been changed

Thursday, February 27, 2014