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Advice Project Helps Birmingham’s Poorest Families


Today, Birmingham based charity, free@last, is celebrating helping local people maximise their income by a staggering £1,862,809 in entitled benefits. The project has made a huge difference to the city’s poorest families by helping them become financially savvy.

Last year, free@last was awarded £30,000 by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to fund its energy project, which was on the brink of closure. Thanks to this funding, over the course of a year the project was able to extend its services and help 433 people in the city with advice and practical skills on energy efficiency and saving money on bills.

The key focus of this project was helping local people who were experiencing money troubles to take control of their finances and enable them to develop strategies to manage their income and expenditure. As a result of these measures, the people targeted by the project have experienced an increased standard of living.

John Street, director of the charity, said: “Funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has allowed us to provide a vital service in an area that has the highest child poverty in Birmingham and is classed as one of the most deprived wards in the country. Our intensive support to help local people with financial problems, has left hundreds of people to be better off. The ScottishPower Energy People Trust provided a critical lifeline for us at a time when our beneficiaries were most vulnerable and we are forever grateful.”

Ann Loughrey said: “free@last is already well established in the area offering local people a range of support and services. Thanks to funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, they have been able to provide specialised energy advice to those who are particularly vulnerable in the community and we are delighted to have supported this valuable project.”

For further information, please contact:
Emma Paul, Stripe Communications
T: 0131 561 8746 /

About The ScottishPower Energy People Trust

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust funds registered charities that help people whose lives are affected by fuel poverty. Since forming in November 2005, the Trust has provided over £11.8 million to 250 projects across Britain, helping more than 1.6 million people. The Trust is funded by ScottishPower and voluntary donations from independent supporters.

  • The 250 supported projects have employed 137 full time employees, 188 part time employees with support from 243 volunteers.
  • Of the 250 projects supported, 180 carried out benefit health checks as part of their activities. 60 of the 180 projects reported additional benefits of £47,890,944.66 and of these 60, 12 projects are still active.

Decisions to award funding are made independently of ScottishPower by an experienced Board of Trustees who have a special interest in fuel poverty. They include representatives from Energy Action Scotland and National Energy Action.

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity established to help end fuel poverty in Britain, Charity No. SC036980. Please note funding is not available to individuals, only registered charities.

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