Charity launches fundraiser to tackle rising fuel poverty that affects ‘1 in 5 households’

Lewisham Local, Pic: Tiffspic

A charity in Lewisham have set up a fundraiser to help raise money and spread awareness for fuel poverty. 

Lewisham Local, a non-profit charity founded in 2016, launched their crowdfunding campaign for Warmer Together, which went live at 12pm on October 26 and will stay live until Christmas.

Warmer Together Lewisham is a fundraising campaign to tackle fuel poverty in Lewisham. Lewisham Local have teamed up with Southeast London Community Energy (SELCE) and Lewisham Healthy Homes Partnership. The event will start at 11am and take place online.

Dr Giovanna Speciale, CEO of SELCE, said: “We are seeing a tragedy unfold, low-income households are being squeezed: they are having to economise on all those things that most of us take for granted: a warm home, hot water and electricity for appliances. This project will enable us to capitalise on the power of community and work with our wonderful community groups to provide vital advice and support to those most in need of our help.”

Simone Riddle, Community Engagement Leader at Lewisham Local, told East London Lines: “Around 1 in 5 households in Lewisham are struggling to heat their homes. Given the scale of the issue, this is something that we felt was important to work with others to tackle.” 

Riddle said: “We wanted the name of the campaign to reflect this collaborative approach, and hopefully motivate others to get involved too… funds raised will go towards training local champions to reach out to our most vulnerable households – something we could only do by working in partnership with our wonderful community groups.”

With gas and electricity recently increasing all over the country, more and more people will be at risk of fuel poverty. An estimated 15 million households nationwide have seen their energy bills rise by 12 per cent since the beginning of October. Riddle said: “We hear people talking a lot about food poverty in the news but less discussing the issue of fuel poverty and how that impacts people’s day-to-day lives…we anticipate that this winter is going to be even harder for families.”

Ever since the Coivd-19 pandemic begun, Lewisham Local has seen a huge increase in fuel poverty. More people staying at home meant bills naturally increased, and with docked wages, many people found their fund running out faster. 

Sam Hawksley, Director of Lewisham Local, said: “We’ve seen the huge difference SELCE’s work makes to people who are struggling with their energy bills in Lewisham. As a local charity that encourages local giving, we wanted to support them to do more. We know how generous Lewisham’s residents are, and we hope that by getting the message out there, people will be inspired to back this campaign.” 

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