Winter Warmth 2022

We are all dreading this winter, but some households are going to feel the pinch, and the cold, literally, more than others. I usually give you the current fuel poverty statistics. This year they are meaningless, because they are two years out of date and so much has changed in 2022.

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The reality is that people in Devon will likely die from cold weather this winter.  Fuel poverty exacerbated by hard to heat homes, associated health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular issues. Rising energy costs will bring the most challenging winter we have seen for many years. Staying warm will be an immense struggle for many households.

How you can help

Exeter Community Energy’s Hardship Fund has been designed to direct funding to households most in need of support.  Donating your Winter Fuel Payment is one way to help us deliver direct support to vulnerable Devon households.

If you don’t receive the Winter Fuel Payment, don’t feel that you are excluded from our Winter Warmth campaign. Any donation to the ECOE Healthy Homes Hardship Fund is very welcome. Each donation means we can do more to keep others warm this winter.

Support our Winter Warmth Campaign via our JustGiving Campaign by donating here.

BACS and cheque payments also possible, please contact us for more information.

Our Healthy Homes for Wellbeing project started in November 2017. Since then we have seen tremendous growth in not only the services we offer, but also the numbers of residents we have helped. The Healthy Homes project provides free practical energy advice and support to the vulnerable and fuel poor at drop-in energy advice clinics, other events across the region, and during LEAP home visits in Exeter, Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge and Torbay. Our 0800 telephone energy advice line has been busy throughout the summer, a sure indication that we will be inundated with requests for help this winter.

We are already helping around 500 households every month, with advice on bills, debts, grants, benefits and energy saving advice. We’ll do whatever we can to support the local community to stay warm and well in their homes.

The ECOE Healthy Homes Hardship Fund

We have seen too many examples of extreme poverty. In many situations just a small grant can make all the difference to a struggling household.

There are charities, local and national, that offer hardship grants, but their application process often means it would take too long. And sometimes there simply aren’t any grants or easy solutions to the problems we encounter.

We created our own Hardship Fund in 2019 which now enables us to make a world of difference with just a small intervention, like providing an oil-filled electric heater or blankets, paying for boiler repairs or replacing a broken fridge or cooker for a family struggling on minimal benefits. We can also support households with fuel vouchers and food vouchers when needed.

This winter, the cost of living/energy crisis will force many more families into fuel poverty. If you can, please help us to support them by making a donation of any size. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Tara Bowers, Director and Project Manager Healthy Homes for Wellbeing