Healthy Homes prepares for the next season if you or anyone you know struggles to heat their home.

Email if you or anyone you know struggles to heat their home.

It has been a strange few months for everyone, not least for our Healthy Homes team. They are usually out and about in the community giving talks, running drop in clinics and visiting people in their homes. Instead they have all been working from home. As we approach the next winter season, which for this project runs from September to April, we are busy preparing new services and ways of doing things.

New look LEAP

Our home visits with Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) stopped in March, as the lockdown arrived. We’ve been giving advice by telephone since then. This has been proving challenging, but none the less rewarding. We’ve been helping lots of residents with a variety of energy issues, including broken boilers, billing problems, fuel debt, meter problems and general tariff and switching advice.

The good news is that LEAP is back from August, with a new look. All of our Home Energy Advisors (HEAs) are undertaking LEAP training from early August. Once completed we’ll be offering the new style service, which comprises a telephone advice session followed by a short home visit where needed. More details about this new service will be available in the next newsletter.

New look team

We are anticipating high demand this winter. Many people have been coping on reduced income during the lockdown, and of course there have been job losses. In readiness for this we have two new HEAs. We welcome Julie Glover and Charlene Battams to the team.

As you may already have read, Tara Bowers has recently taken over the management of the project from Gill Wyatt. Gill remains on the team, as a HEA, and also as Community Liaison Officer, responsible for handling our training sessions to frontline workers, and giving community talks. The team is completed with two further HEAs, Matthew Axe and Paul Whittall.

Talks and Training

We are now using webinars and Zoom meetings to replace our talks and trainings. Local community groups can contact us for a webinar to find out more about how residents can be helped. Any community, health and social care team who would like to receive training can also contact us for a specially designed webinar for staff and volunteers.

Just Giving

We recently launched a Just Giving campaign to help boost our Hardship fund. The fund had pretty much been depleted in the early part of the Covid pandemic, so we were in need of some extra donations. Donations have been slow to get off the ground, and we are extremely grateful to those who have so far donated. We have also been fortunate to receive an offline donation of £100.

We know from previous years that demand for support is always highest in the winter, and whilst many of us probably think winter is a long way off, in reality, for many in poverty the winter starts in September, the moment they need to turn the heating on.

If you are able to spread the word about our fundraising campaign to your friends and networks we would really appreciate this. You can read more about the campaign and what we use the funds for on the Just Giving page.

Social Impact Award Shortlistling

The Healthy Homes project was recently shortlisted in 373 Group awards in the Social Impact category. Sadly we did not win, but it was good to see the project recognised for its tremendous achievements.