Lewisham charity to tackle fuel poverty with funds raised through crisis appeal

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Lewisham Local is planning to tackle the rising cost of living and fuel poverty in the borough by using money raised through its cost of living crisis appeal.

Plans set to launch this winter include small grant programmes for local food banks and a relaunch of the charity’s successful Warmer Together Lewisham campaign.

Simone Riddle, local giving programme manager at Lewisham Local, told Eastlondonlines: “One in four households in Lewisham are struggling to heat their homes and make ends meet.

“By pretty much looking at what is happening and realising that it’s going to keep getting worse, we decided that it was really important to act again.”

Lewisham Local, in partnership with non-profit social enterprise SELCE (South East London Community Energy), will be focusing on tackling fuel poverty in the winter months through its community champions programme.

The programme will train local leaders to understand fuel poverty and to reach out to the most vulnerable households in Lewisham to provide energy and cost saving advice and support.

Dr Giovanna Speciale, CEO of Selce, said: “Good fuel poverty work isn’t just about good advice. It’s getting it to the people who need it the most… the energy champions training is a really good way of doing that.” 

When Lewisham Local first launched its programme in partnership with SELCE last year, director of Lewisham Local, Sam Hawksley, 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.”

All projects will be funded by the proceeds from Lewisham Local’s cost of living crisis appeals.

The crowdfunding pages have collectively raised £8,000 so far. Riddle explained Lewisham Local is trying to reach at least £10,000 by Christmas to deliver its plans effectively.

“As well as the fundraising goal, it’s also been raising awareness that is really important,” Riddle said, “Just making sure that local residents are aware of what it might be to be experiencing things like fuel poverty and knowing that there’s help out there.”

To support Lewisham Local’s plans, visit the appeal page.

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