There are pockets of considerable deprivation in areas across Berkshire, and this project targets low income families in those areas attending Children’s Centres. Ten of the sessions were in the Slough area, which has the highest index of multiple deprivation in Berkshire. A report published 2015, echoed the government statistic that over 1 million families were in fuel poverty, 45% of those in fuel poverty in the UK. In their survey 78% of families said they struggled with their energy bills last year, 75% struggled to heat their homes so no-one felt cold, 75% of families said cold homes were harming their children’s health, and 53% said cold homes were impacting their children’s school work.
CCB is a not-for-profit community development agency, whose goal is to help build strong communities. CCB work in partnership with public, private and voluntary sector organisations to deliver a wide range of projects that have a positive and long-lasting impact on communities in Berkshire. The group has a track record of successfully engaging with low income families. Since April 2015 to November 2016, through funding from Berkshire Community Foundation and other funders, CCB has delivered 78 advice sessions on reducing home energy costs, providing support to 728 families. A total of 229 low income families have been advised to claim the Warm Home Discount, who were previously unaware of it, levering in £32,060 of income to vulnerable families.
“We are very grateful for the grant that you have awarded us to enable us to carry out the ‘Family Home Energy Education and Advice Project’, and the resultant success with which we have been able to engage with low income families in supporting them to reduce their home energy costs.” Helen Dean, Project Co-ordinator, CCB