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ScottishPower Energy People Trust Grant Provides Lifeline to Homeless Youngsters

11/11/2009

Homeless young people in Glasgow and the West of Scotland are to benefit from a vital project that will help get them off the streets.

The charity, Quarriers, has received a grant of £25,000 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to fund a year-long project called HEAT – Homeless Energy Action Team.

HEAT aims to help young homeless people who are moving into their first home, with assistance and guidance on how to avoid fuel poverty through group sessions, outreach support and starter packs containing energy efficient household items.
 
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said:

“Young people who are about to move into their first home after experiencing life on the streets are particularly vulnerable and at risk of living in fuel poverty. HEAT will be able to help reduce this risk by offering essential advice on how to manage budgets effectively and use energy as efficiently as possibly.

“Quarriers is one of 125 projects in the UK to benefit from the Trust since it’s inception in 2005. Over the past five years, we have helped over 400,000 individuals through £6m in funding given to charities, like Quarriers, who deal directly with vulnerable people.”

The grant hopes to provide essential fuel poverty preventative methods for 100 youngsters, aged between 16 and 25.

Part of the funding will be used to purchase starter packs, which will be supplied to young people who are moving into their first home. The packs will contain pots, thermal lining for curtains, a kettle and timer switch – all items that will help promote energy efficiency, as well as relieving financial pressure.

The remainder of the grant will be used to fund a part-time development worker, who will organise and run a variety of informative sessions to ensure youngsters can access support in a number of different ways to suit their needs.

Group work sessions will run every fortnight for up to 10 people, as well as one-to-one support for those who require intensive help, outreach assistance to youngsters who are moving into a new home and drop-in meetings, for individuals needing help with utility bills and budgeting.

The worker will offer advice on implementing energy saving strategies to help with budgeting, as well as help on tariffs, income maximisation, home insulation and grants access. Individuals will also be signposted to additional services, such as Citizens Advice Bureaux and Energy Action Scotland.

Heather Weir, Project Manager at Quarriers, said:

“We are delighted with the support provided by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust. Moving into your first home can be a very daunting experience, involving a great deal of financial pressure. For a young person affected by the devastating effects of homelessness, this can be even more overwhelming.

“The Trust’s generosity will enable us to work intensively with around 100 young people, providing them with practical skills, help and a start-up pack to allow them to make the successful transition into their first home.”

For more information contact:

Gillian Hamilton, at The BIG Partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07734 656 676 or email gillian.hamilton@bigpartnership.co.uk

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 enquiries@energypeopletrust.co.uk 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.
  • 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.
  • To date, the Trust has awarded over £6m to 125 projects helping over 400,000 individuals in over 250,000 households throughout Britain.

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