This winter CCB will continue to work hard to tackle fuel poverty in families with young children in Berkshire by advising low income and vulnerable families of ways in which they can reduce their home energy costs and be more energy efficient.
As we are now half way through the financial year CCB’s Project Co-ordinator, Helen Dean, has looked back on her work over the last 6 months and highlighted the following project outcomes.
“I have delivered 25 sessions at Children’s Centres across Berkshire including drop in Stay and Play sessions, Mother & Baby groups and at Health Visitor Clinics. I have also given talks to English lessons which had students from low income families. At the drop in sessions I gave a light-touch review of their home energy circumstances and income. Each family received advice on how to check they were getting the best energy deal and how to go about switching supplier. The case studies below give a breadth of the kind of help this project offers”. If you would like to discuss with Helen any element of this project please e-mail Helen.Dean@ccberks.org.uk
Case Study – Britcelline: how advice can be cascaded to friends and family
I advised Britcelline at a Health Visitor Mother and Baby group in Slough. At the 1:1 consultation she told me that she had economy seven heating which was very expensive. I explained how it worked, and how to use it properly, and gave her a leaflet with all this information on it, so she could follow up the advice at home. After changing how she used her heating, she saved £18 per quarter, £72 per year.
She was about to move house, and had not ever compared costs or switched before, and after following my advice was able to get the cheapest deal on her gas and electricity. She said that she was then much more confident to shop around for broadband, mobile phone deals, and other bills that came in.
She sent me an email 2 months later saying ‘Following what I learnt from you, I encouraged a friend to use Uswitch to see what they could save on their bills. Luckily for her she could save £45 pcm by switching from Eon to new supplier Green Network Energy. It turned out that calling the supplier than actually switching on their website was even cheaper. Thanks again for all your help.’
Case Study – Training Floating Support Workers at P3 Floating Support in Slough
P3 Floating Support in Slough offer support with maintaining accommodation, finances, benefits, employment, training, education, and sign posting to a wide range of people including low income families, and receive referrals from Social Services, Health Visitors and Family Support Workers.
Helen gave a training session to the manager and 3 floating support workers in September, on all aspects of reducing home energy costs. Two workers said that between 80 and 100% of their clients were fuel poor or at risk of being fuel poor.
On the evaluation of the session, the staff said that they would estimate that they would inform and advise 95 clients over the next six months on how to reduce their home energy cost through a variety of measures. They also stated that they would pass on the information to 40 colleagues.
Their manager, Kate Dunne stated ‘’The training was great and really beneficial; as a team we gained a really useful insight into various ways to save money and energy. Now we have this knowledge we feel better equipped to support our clients with reducing home energy costs …thank you. ‘’
Bal Panesar, one of the Floating Support Workers also stated ‘Most of my clients are on economy seven heating. I am pleased that I have a better understanding (of it), and can also (now) provide a leaflet (on how to use economy seven heating properly).’
Case Study: Health Visitor Mother & Baby Group Langley Health Centre Slough
Comments: “These kinds of sessions are so helpful – we don’t often get a chance to stop and think.” “Helen explained everything thoroughly and I will definitely be checking for better deals and following the advice she gave.”