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Vulnerable Families in Bolton Benefit from Funding Boost

Over 200 needy residents in Bolton will be cosier this winter after benefiting from an initiative set-up to combat fuel poverty.

Bolton Council was awarded a cash boost of £70,000 in January 2008 from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust to deliver the Affordable Warmth – Community Training Scheme.

The initiative, which is expected to be completed within the next few months, offers energy efficiency advice to help prevent households getting into fuel poverty.   It was initially set up to help young vulnerable people and families save money on their energy bills and elderly groups have also benefited from the training.

Already, the project has smashed its initial target of reaching out to 200 vulnerable people in the Bolton area and the ScottishPower Energy People Trust is delighted with its progress.

The Trust was established in November 2005 to fund not-for-profit organisations 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.

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said:

“We’re so happy that the Affordable Warmth – Community Training Scheme has been able to benefit so many people in Bolton. We set up the Trust to give projects like this the ability to directly reach out to people who are living in fuel poverty.
“Different types of support are provided by the Trust, including crisis funding, benefits entitlement check, energy efficiency measures and research – all measures to help alleviate fuel poverty.

“We are confident that the people who have benefited from the useful training programme will be able to pass their wisdom on to others, hopefully putting an end to fuel poverty.”

The Affordable Warmth – Community Training Scheme employed a staff member in January, Nicola Eames, who has set up, developed and carried out training programmes, which address each and every aspect of fuel poverty and its causes.

The project works with organisations such as The Energy Saving Trust advice centre and Energywatch and has so far delivered 20 training courses over the Bolton area. 

Over 200 Energy Saver Packs, which contain energy efficient products such as light bulbs and standby plugs, have already been distributed to those taking part in the training, as well as energy-efficiency home surveys.

Affordable Warmth Project Officer, Nicola Eames, said:

“We’re delighted with the project’s progress so far and are confident that the people benefiting from the training will be able to pass on advice to others in need. Fuel poverty affects so many people and this time of year is particularly difficult for vulnerable people.

“We are really grateful for the funding provided by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust and are proud of the achievements so far.”

So far, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded over £4.5m to 103 projects helping over 243,000 individuals in over 105,000 households throughout Britain.

For more information about ways you can save money on your energy bills, please phone The Energy Saving Trust advice centre, on 0800 512012, or if you would like to know more about the project, please phone Bolton Council, on 01204 335410.

Saturday, December 06, 2008