Carers of all ages who look after someone who is ill, frail or disabled, without payment – can face financial difficulties and end up living in fuel poverty.
So the success of a project that has been lending a helping hand to this very special group of people has been warmly welcomed by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust.
The Princess Royal Trust, East Ayrshire Carers’ Centre, which received £80,000 from the Trust to fund a two-year project, has successfully sourced £350,000 worth of unclaimed benefits for its carers in its first year.
The Eliminating Fuel Poverty project offers benefits health checks to maximise the incomes of families registered with the carers’ centre, helping around 500 households each year.
Jane Smith Chief Executive of the Princess Royal East Ayrshire Carers’ Centre said: said: ““We’re really pleased with the project’s positive results so far. We have been able to give significant assistance to both young and adult carers, as well as family members whose lives are affected by their caring responsibilities.
“The work of a carer is obviously a very important role so we’re really grateful for the ScottishPower Energy People Trust for donating the grant to allow us to make a difference to carers’ lives. “
East Ayrshire Carers Centre provides help, support and information to those caring for relatives, friends or neighbours who otherwise may be unable to manage themselves.
The Eliminating Poverty Project provides specific training and education in money management, to allow carers to manage their finances on an ongoing basis. It also identifies and supports new carers and helps families in crisis situations such as fuel arrears, debt and eviction.
Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Scottish Power and Secretary to the Trust, said: “We’re delighted with the Eliminating Poverty Project’s progress so far. Fuel poverty is an issue that affects millions of households across Britain and the purpose of our Trust is to financially assist projects, like this one, which deal directly with those most affected by the problem.
“Being able to manage finances successfully will make a huge difference to vulnerable people in East Ayrshire and we’re confident the advice they are given will be useful in the long term and will help prevent fuel poverty recurring in the future.”
Expected Number of Individuals : 1234
Expected Number of Households : 1234
Trustees Meetings : 01/03/2007
Funding Amount Approved : 80000