Low income and vulnerable households across England are set to benefit from the new ‘Connect for Help’ telephone service which has launched this month amid the continuing financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
IncomeMax, the social enterprise that supports families take control of their finances, has teamed up with energy efficiency specialists AgilityEco to successfully bid for a grant of over £700,000 to deliver the service. The funding has come from National Grid’s £150 million Warm Homes Fund which is administered on their behalf by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) and which supports projects tackling fuel poverty across Great Britain.
The free ‘Connect for Help’ service will support households in England to reduce their energy bills, check the benefits available to them and, where eligible, apply for new heating and insulation measures. They will also be directed to any relevant available local help and support from public services and charities in their area.
Connect for Help is available to homeowners, social tenants and people living in privately rented properties. Anyone can receive a free initial review of their situation and the support available to them, and additional in-depth help is available for those on low incomes, or with health conditions or other vulnerabilities.
Lee Healey, Founder and CEO of IncomeMax said: “Right now millions of families across the UK are struggling to take control of their finances. Over the years we have found that a human-led approach is the best way to help support vulnerable citizens and that’s what makes telephone services like Connect for Help so vital. The service can offer a wide range of advice from income and energy experts, making a big difference to people’s finances at the time when they need it most. We are proud to have partnered with AgilityEco to deliver a solution that puts the needs of vulnerable people first and takes the time to understand their personal circumstances.”
Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of AWS, said: “We are grateful to National Grid for their continued financial support through the Warm Homes Fund. We are delighted to work with IncomeMax to help fund this new service to address some of the financial issues affecting households across the country. We are all too aware of the financial challenges many households face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and this investment will help solve some of the issues faced. Energy costs and fuel debt continues to challenge many of our customers and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Connect for Help programme, and its associated Connected for Warmth initiative, will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout England.”
Connect for Help will run until 2022 and is expected to support at least 8,500 households during that time. To access the service households can either apply online at www.connectforhelp.org.uk or call freephone 0800 029 4548.