Shropshire appeal to fight fuel poverty

A Shropshire charity has launched its annual campaign to help local people who “will have to make the choice between heating and eating”.

Community Resource, formerly known as Shropshire Rural Communities Charity (RCC), runs the appeal to raise funds to give out as grants for emergency fuel and energy-saving improvements in people’s homes.

The Warmer Winter Appeal has distributed over £79,000 and helped more than 200 households in the county since it launched 10 years ago.

According to government statistics, the West Midlands has the highest level of fuel poverty in England, with 17.5 per cent in the region unable heat their homes affordably in comparison to the 13.4 per cent national average.

And with the rise in energy prices and the energy price cap, the charity is concerned about the impact an increase in bills will have on households, and the difficult choices they will be forced to make.

Julia Baron, Chief Executive of Community Resource, said: “When we launched our 2020 campaign I said the help was needed more than ever, yet here we are a year later and the situation has become even tougher for people in our county facing fuel poverty.

“We know that the energy price rises are impacting everyone, but we also know there are vulnerable people with no safety net who will have to make the choice between heating and eating this winter.

“If that’s a choice that you don’t have to make, and you can comfortably offer your support, please consider helping us to help local people keep warm this winter.”

One of the people to recently benefit from the Warmer Winter Appeal was John from Bridgnorth. John has a number of medical conditions that are exacerbated by the cold weather, so it was vital for is health that he kept warm. A grant from the Warmer Winter Fund helped to cover the cost of his heating while he recovered from treatment.

Community Resource partners with referral agencies to find people most in need and provide them with insulation, draft exclusion and other energy saving measures.

It also works to raise awareness about how households can make simple changes to reduce their costs while still keeping warm.

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