Help to pay bills for Nottinghamshire families with disabled children

A Forest Town family with a disabled child is among others in Nottingamshire to receive a grant to help combat fuel poverty.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 5:11 pm

The money is being made available to help families with disabled children across the county struggling to meet heating costs whilst caring for a child with a disability.

Fuel poverty can be caused when a parent gives up work, or experiences a dramatic fall in household income to care for a disabled child.

A grant from the Energy Saving Trust, part of its Energy Redress Scheme, has been awarded to children’s charity Caudwell Children to help tackle the issue.

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Edward Fewtrell

In partnership with West Midlands-based Auriga Services, an organisation that helps reduce financial hardship by working with utility companies, the organisations identify, and support families, helping them use energy more efficiently and manage household budgets.

The scheme has helped Edward Fewtrell, who is married and has two children aged six and eight. They are also given access to support services.

His six-year-old son has cerebral palsy and his wife had to give up her work in administrative support to care. Edward is employed as a door engineer and says the grant is used as ‘financial back up’ to pay utility bills.

“Edward said: “It’s great having access to grants like this because they really help with managing bills when one of us is a main carer.”

Mark Abrams, chief executive of Auriga Services Ltd said: The grant will help to provide 2,000 families with a detailed home survey, energy efficiency guidance and income maximisation advice.

"We shall also be advising up to 10,000 families with energy saving tips and information.”

Trudi Beswick, CEO at Caudwell Children said: “While there have been lots of announcements to help stimulate the economic recovery from COVID-19, it’s disappointing that lots of families with disabled children continue to be excluded from the uplift in universal credit as announced in the Budget.

“Many people on so-called ‘legacy benefits’ have a disability and we see first-hand that many families are struggling to afford essentials during the pandemic.

“Our Warm Homes service helps eligible families maximise their incomes and manage household bills. There’s only so much that charities can do.

“Disabled children and their families need long-term support to ensure they feel valued, supported and financially secure.”