Support available for families in Berkshire suffering due to rising energy bills

Today’s news (03/02/22) that “more than one in four UK households will be in fuel poverty once Ofgem’s latest energy price cap rise comes into effect”* will no doubt cause alarm to households across West Berkshire.

Local charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB) wants people to know that help is available. They have been running a project tackling fuel poverty for 10 years and can provide expertise in supporting low-income families that are struggling with their energy bills.

Helen Dean runs the Family Fuel & Water Poverty project in Berkshire and provides support and advice to low-income families to save money on their bills.

Helen says; “The increase in the price cap is devastating for families, particularly those on low incomes when they are already struggling to pay their bills. The worry this causes should not be underestimated, affecting families’ mental health, with some families having to choose between heating and eating.”

Helen works throughout Berkshire providing bespoke telephone advice, and attending targeted groups for young families. Through the project, she also provides training to practitioners who then cascade the information and advice to the vulnerable families they support.

Tim Parry, Chief Executive of CCB said; “With today’s announcement that energy bills will rise by almost £700 a year for a typical household we believe that more families in the region are likely to be pushed into fuel poverty so we are expecting to receive an increase in demand for this service. Our project can provide real support and results to families in need in the area”

Like Lisa, who saved £260 per year after receiving telephone advice from Helen. Lisa said “I thought I was ok sorting out my bills before but I was unaware of how much I could save by tweaking just a few simple things. The advice from Helen was brilliant and she made it easy to understand instead of just having lots of information thrown at you to work out. Having the advice eased my mind to know that I could be saving instead of worrying so much.”

In the past five months, Helen has supported 65 families through telephone advice, saving a total of £9,351.

We would like to raise awareness of the service we provide and families on a low income can be referred or contact Helen directly on helen.dean@ccberks.org.uk or visit our ‘Energy Advice’ page to find useful tips.

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