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Today, Carers of East Lothian (CoEL) is celebrating helping local carers maximise their incomes by a staggering £743,933 in unclaimed benefits and charitable grants. To mark the occasion, they met with representatives from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, the organisation who made this achievement possible.
In January, 2011, CoEL was awarded £85,691 by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to fund its energy project, ‘Warmer and Better off’. Now three years in, the project has helped over 751 local carers with advice and practical skills on energy efficiency and saving money on bills.
Carers in East Lothian often juggle paid work with their unpaid caring responsibilities at home for relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Managing bills can be stressful for those family members providing the care so the service is there to take the strain out of the process, and act as a much needed lifeline.
Lisa Mcilwraith, Project Co-ordinator at CoEL, said:  “It is a huge achievement for an organisation to be given £85,000 over three years and turn that into so much extra generated income for Carers in East Lothian, through welfare benefits and energy savings. We are delighted they have been able to help so many carers on such a huge scale.”
Ann Loughrey, Company Secretary and Trustee of the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, said: “It was a great experience to meet with staff from Carers of East Lothian today and see how the money from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has been put to excellent use in the local community. Thanks to this funding, Carers of East Lothian has helped local people unlock almost £750,000 in unclaimed benefits as well as providing specialised energy efficiency advice to those who are vulnerable in the community. We are delighted to support the Warmer and Better Off project.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014