The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, an independent charity established 3 years ago to help combat fuel poverty, has announced that its donation total for projects has now topped the £5 million mark and, at the same time, it has also made a pledge to donate a further £1.3 million.
Across the UK the Trust has now awarded over £5.1 million to 111 projects, helping over 361,000 individuals in over 211,000 households.
The Trust awards funding to not for profit organisations for projects that tackle fuel poverty through investment in energy efficiency improvements, crisis funding, income maximisation and research.
Speaking at a National Energy Action reception in the House of Lords last night (31st March), Willie MacDiarmid, Director of Energy Retail at ScottishPower, announced that a further £1.3 million was being donated.
He said: “Since its inception three years ago, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has made a real difference to thousands of people across the country. This has been made possible through offering support for some excellent community projects that are managed by dedicated and highly motivated individuals.
“ScottishPower is committed to helping the most vulnerable people in our society who find themselves in financial difficulties. We are delighted to announce that a further donation of £1.3 million is being made to the Trust which will enable continuing support for many more community projects.”
Also speaking at the event were representatives from two of the projects who have received support from the Trust in recent years, as part of the £5 million already donated.
The Toxteth Citizens Advice Bureau received just under £100,000 from the Trust for a Fuel Poverty Outreach Worker Project in the L8 region of Liverpool. They provide a specialist fuel poverty advice service to help their clients maximise their income. They also provide assistance and access to financial skills training, specifically targeting lone parents and people with mental heath issues.
Khaled Shalaby from Toxteth Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “As a ScottishPower Fuel Poverty Worker, myself and my colleagues have been able to help thousands of people in Liverpool who are disabled, pensioners or lone parents. We help to maximise their incomes by checking clients’ entitlements and by ensuring that they are claiming for all the benefits that they are entitled to.
“The funding from the Scottish Power Energy People Trust allows us to see hundreds more people throughout the year than would otherwise be possible.”
Independent Living Support in Dumfries has been able to fund the Empowering People Project after receiving just under £55,000 from the Trust. As well as providing crisis funding to clients who need financial support, they also encourage clients to manage their energy account responsibly and provide advice on topics such as how register with their fuel provider when they take up tenancy and how to budget effectively. They also provide on-going support to help clients with dealings with their energy supplier.
Elaine Colquhoun from Independent Living Support, said: “The funding from the Trust has allowed us to provide the facilities for our clients to contact their supplier or housing authority and we have a part time worker to support them with this. We help a variety of people including young people aged 16-25, adults up to the age of 60, and people who are making the transition from homelessness to their first tenancy. The funding will allow us to have a positive impact in the lives of over 1,000 people in the Dumfries and Galloway area.”
Notes to Editors:
The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity established to help end fuel poverty in Britain, Charity No. SC036980.
The Trust can provide funds for not-for-profit organisations who work with or represent the vulnerable and fuel poor to help those most in need.
The Trust is administered by, but makes decisions independently of, ScottishPower. The Trustees include representatives of organisations including Energy Action Scotland, National Energy Action and Glasgow University Urban Studies.
To help its most vulnerable customers, ScottishPower also recently announced the Fresh Start social tariff scheme. Under this package customers over 60 and in receipt of qualifying state benefits can save more than £200 per year
Media Information: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924