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PROJECT HELPS STOKE RESIDENTS GENERATE £1.5MILLION EXTRA INCOME

West Midlands Warm Zone, previously known as North Staffordshire Warm Zone, has announced that thousands of families across Stoke are receiving extra support thanks to its energy advice project funded by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust. Over the past two years, the project has helped 1,500 local people maximise their income by over £1.5million through accessing additional benefits, grants and energy efficiency.

The project kicked off in May 2012, with the goal of helping vulnerable people in North Staffordshire access affordable warmth. Thanks to £49,750 funding from the Trust, the project was able to employ a Benefits and Energy Advisor to help local people with advice and practical knowledge on everything from applying for grants to being energy efficient in the home.

The service has been a lifeline for vulnerable people in the local community, helping people to maximise their income by an average of £1,000 per person.

Gail Harris, Advice Manager at West Midlands Warm Zone, said: “This project has enabled us to reach some of the most vulnerable members of our local community. Building on close links with other local agencies we have been able to offer a wide range of services to the residents of Stoke. Our core work of income maximisation, grant applications and energy efficiency measures has increased the income of many residents, helped reduce their energy bills and ensured that they have warmer homes.”

Ann Loughrey, Company Secretary and Trustee of the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, said: “This project has been a real success story. It has benefited from funding from the Energy People Trust and turned it into £1.5million extra income for the people of Stoke – it is an incredible achievement and testament to the organisation and the staff’s commitment to its local community. “The specialised energy and benefits advice offered by the project has enhanced the lives of thousands across the local community and we are delighted to support this hugely valuable project.”

Monday, October 13, 2014