Charity offering free energy support to keep East Staffordshire families well this Winter

Charity offering free energy support to keep East Staffordshire families well this Winter
November 1, 2021 esfs_webadmin

Free energy efficiency, home safety and family wellbeing support is being rolled out across Burton and East Staffordshire to help all families stay safe this winter.

The service being offered by East Staffordshire Family Support Service, which also runs Harvey Girls and Dads4Dads, will focus on family wellbeing, energy saving and home and money advice. All of these services will help support local families that are worried about winter fuel bills.

Partnering with Cadent Gas, the charity is launching a new service called ‘Be Well, Be Energy Fit’, in Burton Upon Trent and East Staffordshire. Cadent Gas are the gas distribution network for much of England and transport energy to heat the homes of millions of customers including those that live in Burton Upon Trent and East Staffordshire.

The charity says that their new partnership with Cadent Gas will allow them to help families across East Staffordshire, regardless of their situation. The project will offer families free support with home energy efficiency and energy bills, as well as signposting to organisations for specialist advice and home safety.

Talking about the new service, Ian North, Chief Executive at East Staffordshire Family Support Service, said being safe, warm and connected is becoming a primary concern for many families, especially as we approach what many expect to be a difficult Winter for a lot of households.

He said: “We are delighted to expand our support at a much-needed time for local families.

“As we approach winter, this is a crucial time for many families who may be concerned about the costs of keeping their home warm.

“Our charity believes that a warm, safe home environment helps to form the foundation of a secure, happy and healthy family home.

“Where the whole family are safe and supported, children have the best start in life.”

The innovative new approach will see families offered a variety of support and advice in everything from home safety to efficiency and finances; all of which are designed to help families keep warm and safe over the winter period.

The additional service is part of a host of support available through East Staffordshire Family Support Service, based in Horninglow Road, Burton, which helps families with practical advice and guidance. Having been based in the town for 17 years, they are committed to helping support families to flourish and get the early intervention they need to support themselves.

The Be Well, Be Energy Fit partnership also includes Cadent Gas offering their expertise in home and gas safety. The gas distribution network are also investing in the development of the charity’s staff team, providing them with CO (Carbon Monoxide) information and training that can used during a home visit.

Pictured: East Staffordshire Family Support Service, Harvey Girls and Dads4Dads complete CO (Carbon Monoxide) safety training with Cadent Gas, gas distribution network.

Support available through ‘Be Well, Be Energy Fit’ is open to all. Families do not have to be in receipt of benefits or Universal Credit to get support. The same level of support will be available to all families, regardless of their household income, savings, number of children. The project will also be open to all property tenures including those living in rented accommodation, pay a mortgage or own their home outright. Families who have worries about their winter fuel bills and home energy efficiency can access the charity’s support completely free of charge. Guidance on home energy efficiency, energy bills, signposting to organisations for specialist support and home safety will be available as part of the new service.

Fern Bray, 28, a local parent from Winshill received family support through Be Well, Be Energy Fit. She said:

‘With a two year old daughter and expecting our new baby this winter, I was worried after hearing the news about gas and electricity bills going up.

‘My partner and I are full-time employed, and as we own our home with a mortgage, we often feel like there isn’t much support out there for us as a working family.

‘When I heard about the new service, I was really pleased to see that the support was open to any family.

Fern explained that making a referral was a short and straight-forward process that she completed online through her smartphone.

She continued: ‘They provided us with a home safety check, looked at our finances to help us understand how we can afford an increase in energy bills and provided us with a carbon monoxide alarm.

‘I wasn’t made to feel judged. They were respectful, supportive and really understood our situation.’

The home safety guidance that will be offered to families includes providing CO (Carbon Monoxide) alarms, a home safety check and signposting to organisations that may be able to offer specialist support, grants or free gas appliance checks in the home.

Earl Richards, a Social Programmes Manager at Cadent Gas said of the project:

“We are really excited to commence this new partnership with East Staffordshire Family Support Service. The project will provide crucial support to families across the area as households ready themselves for what many expect to be a difficult Winter. The offering of carbon monoxide alarms, home safety checks and energy efficiency advice will help ensure that families can stay safe and warm this winter.”

Additionally, Cadent will be working with families to offer free gas safety checks. Cadent will be utilising several of their specially trained engineers to safety check/ maintain or service gas appliances in the homes of families supported through the project.

Earl Richards continued to say that “maintaining and servicing a gas appliance is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of carbon monoxide in a property. The safety checks conducted by our engineers will ensure that families remain safe at home this Winter.”

Families are welcome to enquire about the Be Well, Be Energy Fit service by calling 07841 485866.

Enquiries can be made by calling 07841 485866 or email [email protected]

Referrals to ‘Be Well, Be Energy Fit’ can be made online by visiting

Families and professionals can ‘Like’ East Staffordshire Family Support Service on Facebook for updates and information.