As the cold weather bites, how we are helping those who will struggle to pay for fuel

30 October 2021

We have begun to see an increase in people coming through our doors facing fuel poverty.

The University of Oxford research however, found that half of people at foodbanks can’t afford to heat their homes and households referred to foodbanks had, on average, £319 of income in the month preceding their referral and 1/5 of people still needing to pay housing costs over and above this.

Even with housing benefit added in, this falls well below low income thresholds, and far below median income. Half of people at foodbanks were disabled, and 75% had a health condition, all making it more difficult to keep up with energy costs.

Working with our partners at the Fuel Foundation we are able to offer short-term support to help keep the lights on, or prevent someone having to sit in a cold home; providing an emergency fuel voucher and providing signposting and advice.

We know there is lot’s of help out there – each energy provider has their own scheme to help people who are vulnerable or fuel-poor, and local authorities also have schemes to help people struggling with energy costs. And all the while, people are still referred to us having not eaten a hot meal, or taken a hot shower in weeks.

Get in touch with your local support agency or local community professional who can refer you to us in the usual way if you need help this winter.

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