Winter Warmth 2020

Winter Warmth 2020

Support our Winter Warmth Campaign Donate here

Our Healthy Homes for Wellbeing project started in November 2017, and in the past 3 years we have seen tremendous growth in not only the services we offer, but also the numbers of residents we have helped, as well as an increase in the geographical area that we cover. 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. Due to the current pandemic we have not been able to run drop in advice clinics or conduct home visits. We have had to tailor our service and we have been  helping residents with a telephone advice service and completing a short home visit if required.

We helped 154 households in September with advice on energy bills, switching supplier and/or tariff, claims for warm home discount, advice on reducing energy consumption, referrals for grants for replacement boilers and insulation, referrals for benefit checks, fire safety checks and much more. Those who receive a LEAP home visit from us save on average over £850.

The ECOE Healthy Homes Hardship Fund

During our first three years we have seen too many examples of extreme poverty and we realised in many situations just a small grant could 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 decided to create our own Hardship Fund which is enabling 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.

Here are three households that we have helped recently:

  • Mr B and his young son were rehoused after a period of homelessness. They were able to furnish the home with essential furniture and equipment with support of other local charities, but were lacking a fridge. Our Hardship Fund supplied them a fridge/freezer which will last them many years.
  • Miss V and her young family were struggling to make repayments on a financed cooker. We intervened by supplying a cooker, which meant the financed one could be returned and now saves them £70pm which can instead be spent on food or heating.
  • Mr B has been unemployed for over 4 years and has no money to repair broken items in his home. There were faulty electric sockets and light switches which were dangerous. Our Hardship Fund has paid for an electrician to carry out a full electrical inspection and we are now working with another charity to fund the repairs necessary.

The Hardship Fund will be used at our discretion to support the residents we help within our Healthy Homes project. Awards will be made according to the guidelines, which include low income, benefits, chronic health or other vulnerability, and where we feel we can make a real difference.

Winter Warmth: You can help us!

10.8% of households in Devon are living in Fuel Poverty. Often they are living in hard to heat homes and also have health issues such as respiratory and cardiovascular problems and depression. Shockingly, in Devon, more than 500  people may die from cold weather deaths this winter. These are unnecessary deaths – yet staying warm is a struggle for many households. Read more about excess winter deaths here

The downward spiral created by fuel poverty, hard to heat homes and health conditions are intensified by winter. That’s the sad reality.  And we’d like to be able to use our Hardship Fund to help keep people warm this winter – thats where you can help.

Support our Winter Warmth Campaign. Please consider donating your Winter Fuel Payment to our Hardship Fund, if you don’t need it yourself.  It could make a real difference.

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 and it will mean we can do more to keep others warm this winter.

We welcome all your support! Donate here