Since last November the local Footprint Trust charity have helped around 1000 people stay warmer, thanks to funding provided through the My Life a Full Life programme. This winter, the Trust is setting out to help even more vulnerable Islanders.
This year’s campaign, supported by the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Spectrum Housing, Southern Housing, Comic Relief and The Beatrice Laing Trust, will be officially launched at a public Energy Action! event on Friday 5th December at Newport’s Riverside Centre at 11:00.
The theme this year will be “Cash Low? Cash Flow!” and will have a range of organisations in attendance to assist people sorting out their money issues, along with energy concerns, debt, benefits and allowances. The CAB and Age UK (IW) will be attendance along with other local charities.
Over the last year staff from the charity’s Warmer Wight-plus project have visited people in their homes and have explained how to use their heating to best effect. They have also referred over 100 people onto other agencies which can help them further, via the IsleHelp partnership made up of leading advice bodies such as the CAB and AgeUK. Dozens of households have been signed up for grant-funded boilers and insulation, through the new national ECO initiative.
In all over £56,000 will be saved by those they have visited and spoken to so far this year. This includes those who have managed to get the Warm Home Discount from their electricity company of £135. Much of the savings will come about thanks to Southern Water donating save-a-flush bags and 4-minute shower timers. Temperature gages given by SSE have also enabled households to monitor the temperature of their homes and keep them at 18 degrees Celsius rather than 21 degrees. It costs around £75 pa per degree over 18 degrees. The Trust has also referred over 100 people to other agencies so they can get assistance with other issues, such as debt and home repairs, benefit advice, and other support.
Last winter Footprint Trust staff popped into Brannons Cafe in Wootton – which along with other similar outreach sessions enabled dozens of people to be helped with their concerns about high heating bills. Over this winter they will be visiting other cafes across the Island and chatting to customers. They will also be visiting local Children’s Centres and schools to meet parents and deliver their popular MONERGY workshops – which save those attending an average of £200 pa in their energy and water bills.
Information on how to get help and assistance on energy and other issues will be available. For more details call or text the Footprint Trust on (01983) 822282 or email [email protected]