This Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, Friday 29 November, Realise charity is supporting a national campaign to keep people warm and safe at home.
Living in a warm home is essential for our health and wellbeing, but rising energy prices, low incomes and poor-quality housing means that millions of people across the UK don’t have that option. The West Midlands has the second highest percentage of households in fuel poverty in the UK, with an average fuel poverty gap (the amount needed to meet the fuel poverty threshold) of £332.
The Warm and Safe Homes Campaign is run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and is calling for greater support for those struggling to heat their homes.
Maria Wardrobe, Director of Communications at NEA said: ‘’This winter, thousands of people will fall victim to the cold. It’s invading our homes and causing breathing problems, strokes and heart attacks. It’s making people’s lives stressful and miserable, and preventing our children from thriving.
‘‘But we can cure this. A Government-funded, national heating and insulation scheme would vaccinate our homes against the cold. Giving incomes a boost would also mean that people could afford to switch on their heating and stay warm and healthy’.
Realise charity has partnered with Staffordshire-based Beat the Cold to deliver Fuel Poverty Workshops providing over 60 people with new knowledge and awareness about how they can support local communities.
The training sessions provided an in-depth look at the health risks of fuel poverty, what it is and how it affects health along with signposting available within Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
Geoff Beadle, Charity Programme Manager for Realise charity said: “The workshops we’ve funded through our charity programmes are the first steps we’re taking to helping local communities learn more about fuel poverty. Following the workshops, we’ve seen how people have taken away a greater awareness about spotting the signs of fuel poverty and how best to signpost and offer support.”