Clyde Valley Group’s Wellbeing Hub ignites action against fuel poverty

Clyde Valley Group’s Wellbeing Hub ignites action against fuel poverty

The Clyde Valley Group has achieved the milestone of clearing £35,000 of customers’ fuel debt in the latest initiative from its innovative Wellbeing Hub.

Clyde Valley was successful in applying for the Social Housing Fuel Support Fund, which is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and aims to tackle the pressing issue of fuel poverty. The Wellbeing Hub has used the funding to contact customers worst hit by the increases to offer support.

Fin Smith, customer service director from The Clyde Valley Group, said: “It’s been a real privilege to be involved in this work. We were aware of more and more customers unable to pay for their fuel bills. We’ve, so far, cleared over £35,000 of fuel debt from households locally. I know from talking to customers that, for many, this support has been the difference between making ends meet or not.

“The concept of The Wellbeing Hub has been driven from projects we have been involved in the local community over several years. Our key focus is delivering initiatives which tackle issues in our local area.

“This inclusive approach is so powerful. It brings local organisations together to work on a shared goal: focused on improving lives with good homes at the heart of them. In addition to the fuel fund work, we have also distributed 300 iPad out to customers who had been experiencing digital exclusion. We all also working closely with Barnardos on its Forever Homes project which provides young people who are care experienced with a safe and secure home.”

He added: “It’s important we have gathered all this work under one umbrella, The Wellbeing Hub, with various strands covering wellbeing, financial inclusion, energy advice, employability and education. A whole team approach from Clyde Valley to work together. Increasingly, agencies are addressing the challenges of post-Covid with joint working. Social housing providers are ideally placed to co-ordinate these efforts and it’s satisfying to see Clyde Valley leading from the front.”

Sally Thomas, chief executive, SFHA, commented: “Housing associations work hard to make their homes energy efficient and to reduce the cost of heating them, however, their tenants are more likely to be in fuel poverty, often due to their lower incomes.

“With energy prices and the cost of living rising, we really welcome the Scottish Government, once again, providing this funding. We are pleased to work with the government to distribute the funds which will help to support Clyde Valley’s vital work in tackling fuel poverty and make a real difference to its tenants’ lives.”

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