NEARLY 100 vulnerable residents in East Kilbride have benefited from the work of kind-hearted volunteers in a bid to reduce fuel poverty in the area.
The Hands On Project (HOP) was given a grant of £7,000 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to put 10 volunteers through the City and Guilds Energy Awareness Course in September 2007.
The course provided volunteers with the necessary skills to give advice on various aspects of energy efficiency to save individuals money and energy. These included how to carry out an energy efficiency survey in your own home, advising on effective use of energy controls and grant information for installing energy efficiency measures in the home.
Since the Trust’s funding, a number of volunteers have put their skills to use by helping the elderly, disabled, housebound and infirm people through home visits within the East Kilbride area, successfully completing almost 100 surveys.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said:
“We’re really pleased that the volunteers at HOP have made a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people in East Kilbride. Advising people on the small steps they can take to save money and energy, through efficiency measures, is a great way of reducing the number of people living in fuel poverty.
“HOP is just one of 116 projects which have benefited from the Trust’s funding. We are proud to have donated nearly £5.5m to projects across Britain, which has helped over 391,000 individuals in over 243,000 households.”
Established in November 2005, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust provides vital funding for 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.
HOP aims to help ease isolation, loneliness and fuel poverty amongst older people, through a befriending and handyperson service, as well as the energy efficiency advice initiative.
Liz Nelson, Volunteer Development Officer at Hands On Project, said:
“We’re really proud of the work our volunteers have put into this project so far. All the workers who were trained in the energy efficiency course have successfully put their new found skills to use by assisting many people in the area. Clients responded well to the service and have been very appreciative of the advice and information given to them by the project.
“Volunteers are vital to our service and without them, HOP would not exist. Due to the nature of volunteering, we are always on the lookout for more applications. We still have further training to undertake, as energy efficiency information, advice and legislation has recently been updated and this will take place as soon as we have recruited sufficient volunteers.
For more information on HOP or to apply to be a volunteer, please contact Liz Nelson on 01355 806 894 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact:
Gillian Hamilton, at The BIG Partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07734 656 676 or email email@example.com
Note to Editors:
ScottishPower has published its CSR Annual Review 2008 online. Following feedback from its stakeholders, this year’s Review is very much led by the community groups ScottishPower works with. To hear first hand from them as they tell their story about working with the company, tune in to ScottishPower’s innovative CSR TV station at: www.scottishpowercsrannualreview.com.
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust does not provide funding directly to individuals but provides funding to not for profit organisations which represent the vulnerable/fuel poor. People described as living in fuel poverty are those who spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.
The decisions on the awards to organisations are made independent of ScottishPower by the Board of Trustees of the charity.
To apply for a grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log onto www.energypeopletrust.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 568 4727.
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is just one of a number of ScottishPower initiatives which assist some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. As well as working closely with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, ScottishPower employs Community Liaison Officers who visit people in their homes. The energy supplier has also insulated thousands of homes across the UK through its Energy Efficiency Commitment.
ScottishPower had completed almost half of its Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) by the end of December 2008. This means the company will have installed energy efficiency measures equivalent to insulating over 380,000 homes across the UK. CERT - which came into effect on 1 April 2008 and is due to run until 2011 - is an obligation on energy suppliers to achieve targets for promoting reductions in carbon emissions in homes across the UK. 40% of the CERT spend is directed towards customers believed to be the most vulnerable therefore also making a contribution to eradicating fuel poverty.
In the Ofgem Monitoring suppliers' social programmes 2007-08 December 2008, The Energy People Trust was identified as implementing best practice by providing support to trusted third party intermediaries and organisations to target assistance to those in fuel poverty, particularly those who are the most difficult to identify and hardest-to-reach.