Community partners come together to deliver workshops on CO and energy advice

25 Apr 2024
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A room full of people sat looking at a projection

We've partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Gas Safe Charity to deliver two CO and energy advice workshop sessions for frontline workers supporting vulnerable customers.

Hosted at Portsmouth Central Library, yesterday’s initiative was aimed at organisations supporting vulnerable people or those that are new to offering energy advice. Representatives from Age UK Portsmouth, Citizens Advice Hampshire, Citizens Advice Havant, Dementia Support Hampshire & IOW, Home-Start Portsmouth, mhs homes, Portsmouth City Council, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers Hampshire, Sage House Dementia Support and Worthing Mencap were all in attendance.

The morning session, delivered in partnership with the Gas Safe Charity, was a mix of presentations, group work and individual activities exploring carbon monoxide (CO) awareness. Attendees have learned about sources, signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and how to reduce CO risks and prevent incidents. The session included presentations from regional partners about the support they provide vulnerable households that is available to clients to help with the cost-of-living crisis and home safety.

A networking lunch provided a great opportunity for attendees to meet other organisations across the network, and share ideas and potential for collaboration, with our vulnerability partners hosting stands in the marketplace. The hope is that delegates will form new connections which will have an impact on the people they work with.

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A group of people in conversation with one another in front of banners for energy advice support

In the afternoon session, the Centre for Sustainable Energy delivered an Introduction to Energy Advice workshop for organisations that are new to this subject. The workshop explored the impact of the energy crisis on vulnerable customers, help with understanding billing, payment methods and how to manage energy debt, energy saving behaviour tips and advice and home energy efficiency improvements.

Information was provided about the support available for vulnerable customers related to energy including the Priority Services Register (PSR), Warm Home Discount and other financial and non-financial support, as well as which organisations can help with further energy advice services.

We work with Gas Safe Charity to provide CO awareness and education for our partners, employees and stakeholders, and by partnering with the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to deliver our Safe and Warm Community Scheme, we’re able to help grassroots organisations supporting financially vulnerable communities with both funding and skills to provide energy advice and energy safeguarding services.

Dan Edwards, Social Impact Programme Lead at SGN, said: “We’re committed to helping people living in vulnerable circumstances and events like today are vital in making sure the organisations that can help the most have the right tools and information to hand. The workshops from our partners at the Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Gas Safe Charity have been incredibly insightful and I’m hopeful that the connections made today at the networking lunch will go on to make an even bigger difference in the future.”