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Pop Fuel Bank
Approximately 2.53 million households in England are in fuel poverty. NextEnergy Foundation seeks to contribute to poverty alleviation in undeserved regions, both those in which it is present and beyond. In December 2017, we teamed up with npower’s Pop-Up Fuel Bank to issue 102 fuel vouchers, each worth £49, to clients in five foodbanks across Birmingham. The donation reached 285 people, of whom 116 were children, and enabled them to benefit from a warm home during the Christmas period. Each voucher covered approximately 2 weeks’ worth of energy. Some of the clients who benefited from the vouchers said, “My daughter needs some new school shoes and I was going to have to choose between these or heating,. This has made my decisions for me, thanks” and “Before the voucher, we weren’t able to put the heating on as the gas had run out and we were sitting with blankets on to keep us warm”.
Foodbank Manager, Gareth Duffield of Sparkhill Foodbank said, “Our clients are so grateful to the generosity of the NextEnergy Foundation for the support they received. Most of the clients we see do not work and are on low income, either because they are waiting for benefits or because they do not have enough money to get them from one benefit payment to the next. They were so shocked to be offered such a generous gift before Christmas and it meant that many families could be together at home with their children in a safe and warm environment.”
NextEnergy Foundation was extremely pleased to have made a real difference in people’s lives in 2017 and, consequently, donated again to npower Pop-Up Fuel Bank in December 2018. In total, 102 fuel vouchers were issued, allowing 320 people in Birmingham to benefit from a warm house over the 2018 Christmas Period. One client said, “This has made my Christmas, I’ve just got a job as well, so things are really looking up whilst another said, “A while ago I put my card in and I was £280 in debt – I couldn’t cope and had a breakdown. At the moment I’m without central heating and using an electric fire with just one bar on it. Thank you for your help!”.
NextEnergy Foundation is continuing its commitment to contribute to poverty alleviation in undeserved regions, both those in which it is present and beyond, by supporting npower Foundation to respond to fuel poverty in the UK.
January 2021 Update: Between December 2019 and December 2020, a total of 1,981 people benefited from a fuel voucher with NEF’s support, of whom 937 were children. npower Foundation has said that the generous donation to fund Fuel Banks for people struggling to pay for energy over the year has had a huge impact, both in terms of providing warmth during the winter months, as well as physical and mental health benefits, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fuel vouchers were distributed to members of food banks across Birmingham, Glasgow, Grimsby and Hartlepool. In Hartlepool, NEF’s support enabled npower to establish a Fuel Bank in a region which was already experiencing high levels of socio-economic deprivation prior to the pandemic. In addition, NEF’s support in Birmingham and Glasgow helped to attract additional funding from other supporters throughout the year and was instrumental in allowing the Fuel Banks to develop independently to be able to provide longer-term support as their client bases grow.