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Grant money helps group tackle fuel poverty

Published: 8 April 2020

Exeter Community Energy Exeter Community Energy

A group in Exeter that helps vulnerable people deal with fuel poverty and energy or billing issues has been awarded a Covid-19 Action Fund Grant.

Exeter Community Energy has become the latest group to benefit from the £1million Fund.

They will use the money to carry on running their Healthy Homes for Wellbeing service, but instead of home visits the group will be providing telephone and email support to reach those residents at risk.

The Covid-19 Action Fund was launched last week in tandem with support service Exeter Community Wellbeing. It enables organisations to get rapid access to small grants to allow them to work on local projects to support those people and communities most affected by the pandemic.

So far a total of almost £35,000 has been dished out to community groups and charities as part of the Fund.

Tara Bowers, Chair of Exeter Community Energy, said: “Because of the virus we are unable to carry out home energy visits or our drop in energy advice clinics to help vulnerable people who are in fuel poverty, or struggling with issues around energy and heating. This grant will enable us to carry on with this work via telephone and email.

Gill Wyatt, Project Manager of Healthy Homes added. “We have a database of 2,000 vulnerable and isolated residents who we have helped at some point over the last three years and our five home energy advisors will be contacting as many of these residents to check that they are ok during the crisis and offer support where needed.”

Cllr Amal Ghusain, Lead Councillor of Equalities, Diversity and Communities, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that will not only help alleviate some of the practical and financial worries that vulnerable and isolated residents will have but also address other more immediate issues and concerns such as loneliness, isolation, mental health.”

Also benefitting from a £1,000 grant is Citizens Advice, who are developing an Adviceline at Home to offer people free independent advice on a range of issues including debt management and welfare issues, now that their offices have had to close as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.



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