The Ex Forces Support North Yorkshire project has now been running for one year and the Yorkshire Energy Doctor has visited 21 Veterans across the Selby and Harrogate Districts.
Where have referrals come from?
The majority of referrals so far have come via a third party, only two veterans have referred themselves having seen an article in a parish newsletter or a poster on a noticeboard. We have received referrals via Parish Clerks, the Living Well Team, Selby District Vision, the Blind Veterans, Carers Resource and through Horton Housing’s Community Cafes.
What help has been provided?
Savings on energy bills: Switching energy tariff or supplier has been the main thing we have supported veterans with to date, together with making applications for the Warm Home Discount where appropriate. We also visited one gentleman in his 80s who had never received the Winter Fuel Payment
Water meter: Households are usually better off with a water meter if there are more bedrooms than people in the property and three veterans have had a water meter fitted.
Phone contract: One veteran we visited thought that his phone/broadband contract may have expired. On checking we found that it had expired in 2010. A quick phone call sorted out a new deal, saving £180 a year over the next 2 years.
Energy debt: The project is also about supporting the people who may be caring for a veteran. One carer had had her own difficulties with her energy account, owing £3,000 to British Gas. We helped her to successfully apply to the British Gas Energy Trust Fund which resulted in the full £3,000 being written off.
Total savings through our project visits so far = £7,642
The project has funds that can help with anything that will make the lives of veterans easier and/or to enable them to be safe and well in their homes. So far we have helped with smaller items such as grab rails, boiler servicing, draught proofing, mobility aids and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as larger items such as a new washer/dryer and getting a stairlift reinstalled.
It has been well worthwhile, quite illuminating. People like us don’t go looking for help so it’s nice when it’s offered to us (Veteran)
The walker is lovely, smashing, I don’t need to bend down anymore (Veteran)
We got help to get our stairlift reinstalled. It has been a big change, I can get upstairs with the stairlift when previously I had no chance. It has made me feel better mentally, just being able to go to bed, going back to normal (Veteran)
[it has] taken the stress off me, I have so many jobs to do, everything is down to me so it’s nice to have someone else do something for me and to know it’s done right (Carer)
All the things you have told us we didn't know, we've learnt a lot. We would have just carried on otherwise. It has sorted us out and we will benefit (Veteran)
Referrals for other support
Where possible veterans will also be referred to other partner organisations delivering activities and services through the project. These include:
More information available here: https://communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk/projects/ex-forces-support-north-yorkshire-aged-veterans-fund/
How to make a referral?
You can refer a veteran directly to Kate for a home energy/well-being visit in the Selby or Harrogate District by calling 01757 249100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can refer someone into the project as a whole via Community First Yorkshire, see details here