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New programme will help thousands of vulnerable people living in cold homes

SSE has awarded FILT £850,000 in funding to improve the homes of vulnerable people through to March 2016.

The Warm at Home programme will reach 4,500 vulnerable householders and carry out 2,200 warm homes jobs needed to keep people safe and warm.

By repairing boilers, draught proofing and improving heating efficiency, Warm at Home aims to make a real difference for people who might otherwise have nowhere to turn.

Work on the ground will be delivered by 32 Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) operating across 133 local authority areas, from Carlisle to Kent and from Somerset to Suffolk. HIAs are local organisations placed in a unique position to identify, reach and provide solutions for at-risk people, who are often on low incomes and facing the challenges of living in cold homes – worsening health, risk of injury and social isolation. The agencies will work collaboratively at local level with other organisations – not only energy efficiency and fuel poverty networks but also wider health and care organisations.

FILT has engaged the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University to undertake a study into the impacts of the Warm At Home service, looking at how far it has a positive effect  –  not only by keeping vulnerable people warm but also by preventing hazards and worsening health.

Stephen Burke, Chair of FILT said: “We are delighted to start this new partnership with SSE, which will ensure much-needed help reaches vulnerable and older people who might otherwise be at risk in their own homes.”

FILT already works with two other major energy companies and a national energy charity and has a growing reputation for helping partners to reach those most in need on a national scale via its network of local HIAs.

These programmes of assistance build on the success the charity had with a national programme backed financially by the Department of Health during the cold winter of 2012/13.

The results so far show that this outreach model is working. Over the past two years, FILT has helped more than 7,000 older and vulnerable people by distributing over £1m in charitable funds for works ranging from boiler repairs to home energy assessments and electrical safety measures.

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