ScottishPower Energy People Trust provided the Helpline with crucial £100K funding just as the recession was beginning to bite. Over half of the people calling in 2009 required some form of support with financial matters.
Gingerbread uses funds from the Trust to pay for two full time employees and one part time staff member who maintain the advice helpline and develop online resources to help single parent families who are facing financial difficulties. The type of advice provided through the line includes income maximisation, benefit information, and ways to overcome fuel poverty.
To complement the Helpline provision, Gingerbread has also been developing its Single Parent Information Online service. In addition to this, the charity produces a bespoke “Recession Bulletin”, published on a quarterly basis, which is sent out to anyone who calls the Helpline and requests further information by post.
Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’
“Fuel poverty affects millions of homes across the country and is caused by a combination of poor energy efficiency in homes and low income.
“Single parent families are much more at risk of fuel poverty as they live on lower incomes than other families, which is why Gingerbread’
Paul Treloar, Head of Helpline at Gingerbread, said: “We are extremely grateful to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust for their support, which has enabled us to help so many single parents.
“This year has seen a high level of calls to the helpline with thousands of single parents contacting Gingerbread to discuss fuel poverty and debt related issues. The support of The ScottishPower Energy People Trust allows us to improve this essential advice line and service.”
For more information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log on to www.energypeopletrust.co.uk.