New fuel bank scheme offers vouchers to help families in Greenwich pay for heating and electricity

By Jacob Paul

A fuel bank has launched a scheme offering vouchers to families struggling to meet pre-payment meter heating and electricity fees.

The New Fuel Bank, which launched on November 26 in Greenwich, is operated by Home-Start Greenwich (HSG) and working with the Fuel Bank Foundation and Feeding Britain, an organisation that aims to tackle hunger in the UK.

Hazel Chawapiwa, Head of Community and Partnerships, HSG said: “We previously worked with Feeding Britain when they funded our emergency food provision during lockdown, which is when we identified that many of our supported families were often facing the dilemma of heating their home, having lighting, or eating.

“The credit is available to people regardless of their energy supplier, as long as they have a prepayment meter, meaning it can be given to any household in need.

“We will need financial support to extend the life of the Fuel Bank, but we are also always looking for volunteers, trustees, and community partners to enable us to extend our service offer.”

Families identified as at crisis point because they are facing disconnection can be referred to the scheme by a third party like a GP, midwife, or school .

They will receive an electronic fuel voucher of up to £49 to last an average of two weeks.

Baroness Boycott, Chair of Feeding Britain said: “Nobody should have to face the impossible choice between heating and eating.

“With the loss of income that so many families have suffered during the pandemic, initiatives like the Greenwich Fuel Bank will have a crucial role to play in keeping meters topped up as well as food on the table.

“It is our privilege to be working with Home Start Greenwich and the Fuel Bank Foundation on this vital programme.”

For more information on how to apply for the Greenwich Fuel Bank, volunteer, or make a donation email: projects@homestartgreenwich.org.uk or visit homestartgreenwich.org.uk.

Pictured: HSG Volunteer Michaela Starn in the process of organising fresh produce for collection by families who are struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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