Money Matters - the Environment Centre (tEC)

 
We worked with Age UK Southampton (lead partner) on Money Matters, a three year project to support older people in Southampton put ‘more money in their pocket’. We offered a friendly and confidential home visit service, providing advice and practical help with:

  • keeping warm and well
  • saving energy and managing gas and electric bills
  • household budgeting
  • benefit entitlements and applications

The partnership between Age UK Southampton and the Environment Centre provided a joined up approach to efficiently address financial and fuel poverty for older people in Southampton. Through home visits and continued support we were able to ensure real and meaningful outcomes for clients. This has included increasing income through uptake of state benefits, grants for boilers etc., addressing household debt and reducing outgoings through a variety of energy efficiency advice and measures. Delivering the service through home visiting has proved extremely effective as we have provided bespoke 1-2-1 advice and been able to accurately gauge the level of support necessary to achieve the outcomes for the clients.

Outcomes

  • 1,645 beneficiaries were supported
  • £523,088 of benefits secured for vulnerable households
  • £13,383 leveraged towards the cost of heating upgrades and repairs
  • £4,567 of grant funding accessed to reduce fuel debt
  • Secured £3,500 of Warm Home Discount funding to help with annual energy bills
  • An estimated annual saving of £2,839 achieved through changing energy tariff
  • An estimated annual saving of £1,396 achieved through switching to the WaterSure tariff
  • Provision of white goods valued at £1,500 through a local welfare project

Increased income and reduced outgoings has been a significant achievement in terms of changes to the lives of those assisted through the project. Financial and fuel poverty and financial distress have far reaching negative impacts on older people’s well-being as well as statutory resources. Having more money in their pockets has impacted positively on the physical and mental health, general well-being, independence and social isolation of clients. Clients reported that because of our help, they were able to choose more nutritional food and more adequately heat their homes. They also told us that the extra money meant they could lead more active social lives as often poor health and low income means that they could be restricted from going out as their mobility is often impaired and they cannot afford transport to take them to lunch clubs etc. This all impacts positively on our clients’ quality of life in older age.

 

Lead Partner                                                        Supported by                       Funded by

Age UK Southampton Money Matters logo  SCC    Comic Relief logo