The Cornwall Council led Winter Wellbeing partnership has won an award from the South West Energy Efficiency awards.
The award recognises the work that Winter Wellbeing, made up of over 30 partners, has done to reduce fuel poverty and make homes warmer for residents in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
In the past year the partnership has led on improvements to 338 homes with a further 1,080 to be completed by January 2019. The works have been carried out under a number of initiatives such as the Central Heating Fund, and Warm and Well Cornwall.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the top 3 local government areas for homes without central heating. In 2015 there were over 34,000 homes in fuel poverty (14.2%), and the Council has an ambition to reduce this to 5% by 2030, which means removing 22,000 homes out of fuel poverty.
Dr Caroline Court, Cornwall Council’s Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health said “This award is recognition for all the hard work that the partnership puts in year after year. Our unique multi agency approach means that we are able to make a real impact on people’s lives.
“Being warm and well at home is something many of us take for granted, but to those who can’t afford to turn up the heating when the weather gets cold, the partnership can make a huge difference.”
A resident who lives on the Isles of Scilly and received help last year said: "Our house was so cold. To wash dishes in the kitchen we had to put the oven on and let the heat circulate. Our children didn't enjoy coming back home (from mainland) as too cold and my partner's health was suffering. The house was very damp. The first step was a low energy dehumidifier under Smart Warmth, that dried out the damp. Then after many months of waiting in March 2017, we had had free first time central heating (with LPG Gas bottles) installed. It really has transformed our lives, with the house warm and dry for the first time."
The Winter Wellbeing programme has been running for 8 years and provides residents with help from emergency heating funds, advice on better insulation, switching tariffs, providing first time central heating systems and support to find employment. Anyone seeking help with their heating can call the Winter Wellbeing partnership for free on 0800 954 1956 or Call Warm and Well Cornwall on 01872 326552.