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KILMARNOCK based East Ayrshire Carers Centre has helped local people secure £163,475 of additional benefits they were entitled to claim to help lift them out of fuel poverty.

The registered charity was provided with funding of £90,000 by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust for its Eliminating Poverty for NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) project to employ an advice worker to help carers having difficulty managing their fuel bills and debts. The successful two year project specifically addressed fuel poverty among young carers who were considering moving out of the family home to establish their own home. The project involved a specialist worker, trained in benefits and energy efficiency advice, to assist young carers in all aspects of income maximisation and energy efficiency and financial planning.

During the course of the Eliminating Poverty project, East Ayrshire Carers was able to provide energy efficiency advice for 512 carers and benefits health checks for 429 individuals to help lift people out of fuel poverty, when more than 10% of their income was spent on energy bills.  One hundred and sixty five young carers were specifically supported with benefits health checks and tenancy support and advice.

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 has made a great difference to carers in the East Ayrshire area. The project is clearly working to help people in the community and it is an encouraging outcome for an organisation to be given £90,000 and turn that into a £163,475 benefit for people requiring assistance.   The project should be proud of the excellent work it is carrying out.

“Increases in carers household budgets as a result of East Ayrshire Carers advice services have helped relieve the stresses of fuel poverty and contribute to a better standard of living for those who have been helped.”

Jane Smith, CEO, East Ayrshire Carers Centre Ltd, said:

“We would like to thank ScottishPower Energy People Trust for its support and funding.  It has enabled us to work with more than 500 local carers to help them achieve affordable warmth and manage their energy usage effectively.  We have also helped them find extra income from unclaimed benefits to lift them out of fuel poverty.  In addition, funding has been used to provide personal finance training for those who needed a little extra help.

“Our project has been very successful in helping local people and we’re continuing to build on our achievements for the benefit of people in East Ayrshire.”
Established in November 2005, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust provides vital funding for registered charities 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 more than £10 million to 220 projects helping 1,575,250 people in 1,316,071 households throughout Britain.

For further information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, please visit:

For further information on East Ayrshire Carers, please call 01563 571533. 

Monday, November 05, 2012