Care Leavers as Energy Champions Project
Posted 18th October 2022
The Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme’s core priority is to support energy consumers in vulnerable situations, such as people who are most at risk from cold homes and high energy bills. Part of the funding also supports projects that develop or trial innovative products or services that will support energy consumers. £22million was made available to charities and community energy groups supporting households most at risk from cold homes and high energy bills, or working on innovation and carbon emissions reduction across England, Scotland and Wales.
Charles Hargreaves, Ofgem, Deputy Director, Enforcement and Emerging Issues, said:
“We know that this winter is a difficult time for many, as high global gas prices continue to affect consumers. We are pleased that a further £12.7m from our Energy Redress Scheme has been awarded to organisations that will provide help to people in vulnerable situations, as well as supporting innovation and reductions in emissions.
The Energy Redress Scheme, funded by Ofgem’s enforcement and compliance activities, makes a real difference to those who need it most.
Charles Hargreaves, Ofgem
One of the worries for young people is the cost of energy and the cost of living crisis that is having a significant impact. The National House Project (NHP) currently provides a choice of one domestic appliance (up to £400), an introductory fuel voucher to all young people as they move into their first home and access to crisis fuel vouchers. NHP has been keen to develop their offer and support care leavers to use their voices to support their Local House Project community during these difficult times.
The Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme (Energy Redress Scheme) has agreed to fund and support the NHP’s ‘Care Leavers as Energy Champions Project’. This new funding will develop Local House Project staff's knowledge through training, as well opening up the opportunity for two care leavers from each Local House Project to be trained as Energy Champions. These new energy champions will further support workshops to educate wider networks about energy poverty. The project also includes the introduction of a new energy learning module in the House Project Programme, a tablet and data package per Local House Project for staff to support young people with their suppliers and bills, three crisis fuel vouchers for all young people in the NHP Community and the creation of new resources, developed with young people for young people.
We will work with young people to develop resources that work for them
Mark Warr, CEO, NHP
This energy project aims to inform, educate and raise awareness of energy efficiencies by providing intensive support with lasting solutions so that this vulnerable group can avoid fuel poverty and sustain their tenancies. CEO, Mark Warr, commented:
“We will work with young people to develop resources that work for them. With young people as researchers and energy champions the project is geared to developing a young person led approach. Young people will be supported to develop energy aware behaviours as they move to independent living. Staff and young people will be trained as energy champions to support young people who already face considerable challenges as young tenants, which has been further exacerbated by the energy fuel crisis and the cost of living crisis.”
The project will be an 18-month collaboration with Charis and Energy Project Plus that seeks to establish; a way of working, an evidence base and a sustainable model so that it can inform how to support all young people leaving care across the country, not just those leaving care now but to also help others in the following years.
NHP supports young people leaving care with white goods to ease the financial burden as they move into their first home. Leaving care and moving into your first home is a significant milestone for young people but this journey towards independent living is fraught with challenges. For care leavers, the dream of having their own place can quickly turn into a daunting reality when they realise that many everyday essentials, like new fridges and washing machines, remain out of reach due to financial constraints. NHP recognises that having these appliances isn't a luxury but a necessity for building a stable, comfortable home.Read more
On Sunday 12th November, over 40 runners ran the Alton Towers Half Marathon to raise monies for the 'Care Leavers: Kitchen Comfort' campaign. Despite the pouring rain the runners completed the course to support young people, raising over £9000. Two young people, Kieran and Paris, who had been supported by NHP ran in support of their community of care leavers and were delighted to have run their first half marathon.Read more
On Thursday 19 October the House Project community of young people, colleagues and partners from across the UK came together for the annual Care Leavers National Movement (CLNM) Conference, ‘Sense of Wellbeing’; hosted at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester. The day celebrated young people and projects, with a focus on Wellbeing and how this links to relationships and community, both of which are fundamental in the House Project approach.Read more