We have been involved with Warm and Well North Yorkshire (WWNY) since the project first started in 2015 after Community First Yorkshire secured funding from the British Gas Energy TrUst Fund. The project provides advice and support to anyone across North Yorkshire who are struggling with energy costs or with keeping their home warm. It is now coordinated by the Citizens Advice and we are the Selby District-specific partner. We can deliver face-TO-face advice through home visits and work closely with the WWNY team, referring for benefits checks and specialist debt advice.
Funded through the European Social Fund, this project aimed to support individuals who were currently not working back into education or employment. It aimed to provide a training opportunity around communicating, engaging and giving advice, using the field of energy as a chance to put learning into a practical context. The skillset developed would then be applicable to a wide range of jobs and careers that involved working with people, e.g. retail, customer service, care, counselling, marketing, voluntary sector, support work and many more. Of our 16 learners, 3 moved into employment, one into volunteers and 6 into further learning. Covid hit in the middle of this project but we were particularly proud of one attendee who made the most of the lockdown period by learning to read, supported by our project.
When Covid hit in April 2020 we rapidly had to adapt our services, from all of our advice being face-to-face and in-person community engagement to offering a remote service. including those whose jobs and income had been significantly impacted by Covid. There was high demand at a time when people were at home more (thus using more energy), incomes had been reduced, people were shielding making it hard to top-up meters, and it was challenging to reach energy suppliers. This grant helped us to adapt and upgrade our services, systems and processes and also enabled us to provide remote support to 122 households, generating savings of £10,302.
We often get asked to give talks and attend local events and were looking for new and innovative ways to engage community groups on energy. It was exciting to receive funding from the Big Lottery's Awards for All programme to design a range of gameshow activities and resources. At the centre is our 'Play your Energy Cards Right' giant board and cards. Team can aswer a question around energy and then play the board, hosted by born to be gameshow host Chris Hailey-Norris. Covid hit halfway through this project so, with a few adaptations, we brought the Gameshow online and educated and entertained groups via Zoom during lockdown periods.
This project delivered a range of services to former members of the Armed Forces, aged over 65 years old age. Our involvement was to provide advice on being safe, warm and well at home whilst other organisations provided gardening and befriending services, volunteering opportunities, support for carers, day trips and chances to revisit old hobbies such as woodworking. The projects was managed by Community First Yorkshire and other partners includes Age UK, Carers Resource, Citizens Advice, North Yorkshire Support and Rural Arts.
This project provided a programme of support to tackle rural fuel poverty in the Selby District of North Yorkshire, where 70% of fuel poor households live in rural areas. We used our data maps to target rural Lower Super Output Areas (approx 600-700 households) where there were not just high levels of fuel poverty but where other factors made households particularly vulnerable to cold homes (e.g. being off mains gas, poor home energy efficiency, age or physical well-being of residents). We delivered home energy visits to rural households, community engagement activities and staff training sessions. Overall the project generated savings of £40,301 through debt write-offs, energy switching and accessing grants.