Money Matters featured on BBC Radio Solent interview

Age UK Southampton Money Matters logo

Money Matters was featured in an inspiring interview with Anna, a Southampton resident who benefited from a home visit:

‘I didn’t know anything about Help the Aged, but a friend of mine said “why don’t you phone Help the Aged Anna?” which I did and I met Eva and she’s been fighting my case ever since. As Eva said “you must not give in Anna, because I’ll fight for you all the way”, which she has done, she couldn’t do any more for me.’

‘Life is worth living again, other than talking to Eva and her colleagues at Age Concern, well words can’t explain how I feel.’

To hear the full interview, click here to listen to the audio file. If you know someone who lives within Southampton who may benefit from a Money Matters visit, call us on 0800 804 8601.

One of our trained advisors can visit along with Eva from Age UK Southampton. Money Matters visits involve budgeting advice, benefits checks, home energy efficiency surveys, and advice about fuel bills and energy efficiency grants.

Money Matters is funded by Comic Relief.

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Energy Action Southampton at Environmental Rock

We attended Environmental Rock yesterday. Although the sunshine made it hard to think about cold and draughty winter evenings, lots of people took the opportunity to find out about simple DIY improvements they could make in time for next winter.

If you would like to find out more about Energy Action Southampton, or energy efficiency in general, call our freephone advice line on 0800 804 8601.

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Energy Action for Sure Start Mums

This week we held the sixth and final workshop of our pioneering ‘Energy Saving in the Home’ course, run in partnership with Sure Start (Lordshill, Shirley Warren & Coxford).

With a packed itinerary of talks, hands-on practical activities and guest speakers, learners were taken on a virtual journey discovering a whole array of simple and cheap ways for their families to save money and help look after the environment.

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Topics included DIY energy efficiency improvements, understanding energy bills, choosing the best tariff, top tips and products for saving water, and the nitty-gritty of rubbish and recycling in Southampton.

With a strong emphasis on developing practical skills, the course provided opportunities and support for learners to carry out a ‘home improvement’ project of their own choice. Projects included installing reflective radiator panels, using an energy monitor to investigate and reduce electricity consumption, and sewing thermal linings for existing curtains to keep homes warm and cosy during those long winter evenings.

Personal challenges were also set, with learners pledging to make tangible lifestyle changes such as improving family recycling efforts, trying out new recipes to prevent leftover food going to waste, and attempts to achieve the “4 Minute Shower”.

Plans are now underway to repeat the course elsewhere in the city, so please contact us if you would like to get involved, or visit Energy Action Southampton to keep up to date with forthcoming events.

Testimonials

“I really enjoyed the course – I would do it again!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course, it was great to get an understanding and be made aware of the bigger picture, not just the money and energy saving advice.”

“Thank you for doing such a great course, and I shall definitely point people in your direction, you offer a great and invaluable service! I have already been hassling my mother-in-law for her energy bills!”

Special thanks to our guest speakers for their fascinating and inspirational talks:

Southern Electric Community Liaison Officer
Groundwork’s Green Doctors (on behalf of Southern Water)
Southampton City Council Waste & Recycling

Hitting the Cold Spots helps hundreds

Since October 2012 HtCS has assisted over 600 Hampshire residents with information and advice, fixed over 50 heating systems, provided 75 oil-filled radiators, completed 160 home free home assessments and made over 500 referrals to partner organisations.

The Hitting the Cold Spots scheme has so far helped over 600 people and continues until the end of March 2013 (call us on Freephone 0800 804 8601).
Councillor Felicity Hindson, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Hampshire County Council said:

“Cold weather not only makes life uncomfortable but can also lead to, and aggravate, serious health problems such as respiratory diseases, asthma, depression, heart disease and strokes. Hampshire County Council’s Hitting the Colds Spots scheme is building on last year’s initiative with another campaign targeted at older and vulnerable people who may ‘fall beneath the radar’ and struggle to keep warm and pay the bills during the cold winter months.

“I’m very pleased that our Hitting the Cold Spots scheme is helping people to keep warm and these figures demonstrate just how important it is to offer a dedicated free advice line with a ‘real person’ to speak to who can give immediate, practical advice and follow up on the tougher problems.

“When people have had long-term problems with their heating systems or with paying their energy bills it can sometimes take a lot of courage to make that first call and it is encouraging that more and more people are finding the confidence to call our energy advisors.”

Case Study

Mr and Mrs Stockwell, a couple living in Andover and with limited income, had constant trouble with their boiler. The pensioners, both suffering from long term illnesses, had an unpleasant shock before Christmas when a heating engineer gave them a quote to repair the boiler – with no guarantee that the boiler would not break down again.

They did not want to endure another Christmas without heating or hot water so they called the Hitting the Cold Spots advice line. An advisor subsequently visited to assess their home circumstances alongside the project’s criteria, and also left a Hitting the Cold Spots support pack containing useful tips and equipment to keep warm at home and save money on fuel bills. The upshot was that just two days later the go-ahead was given to fund the installation of a new gas boiler and work was completed before Christmas by a Buy With Confidence trader.

The relieved couple said, “We have never sought help from anyone and have always paid our own way. The work was done very efficiently and very quickly and all is working perfectly. We received excellent support from Hitting the Cold Spots.”

HTCS case study web

for the official Hampshire County Council Press release, click here.