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Launch of Bristol Emergency Winter Fuel Fund to help people with energy bills

A crowdfunder launched this month is raising money to help people across the city struggling to pay their energy bills during the colder months.

The Bristol Emergency Winter Fuel Fund will be distributed by community partners in five areas of the city to people who have been referred, which includes the Knowle West neighbourhood.

The initiative has been started by the Bristol Energy Network (BEN) an umbrella organisation for individuals and community groups with an interest in energy.

Last year BEN helped spearhead the Emergency Covid fund to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The organisation says forecasts show thousands of people in the city will struggle to heat their homes or cook dinner this winter, because of the current price of energy – which has risen by 80 per cent since April.

Even with the financial measures announced by the Government, a typical household will still be paying £2,500 a year and this coupled with the huge rise in the cost of living is hitting people hard – especially those already on low incomes.

Aaron James from BEN said: “After raising £20,000 during Covid for Bristolians, we never intended to do anything like this again. But energy prices have gotten so high, we felt like we had to do something.

“Thank you very, very much to everyone who’s donated to the Bristol Emergency Winter Fuel Fund and shared it through their platforms. That money could keep your neighbour’s heating on this winter.”

Five community partners, known as anchor organisations – because they are rooted in their communities – are distributing the Fund – including two in South Bristol.

re:work based on Filwood Broadway will be one of the five community partners distributing the Fund in part of South Bristol.

Local charity re:work located on Filwood Broadway will be covering an area which includes Knowle West, Brislington, Southville, Bedminster and Crew’s Hole. While another part of South Bristol will be covered by Hartcliffe-based Heart of BS13, which includes Hengrove, Hartcliffe, Stockwood, Bishopsworth and Withywood,

The other partners are Ambition Lawrence Weston, Eastside Community Trust and Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, while CHAS (City-Wide Housing Advice Service) and Bristol Disability Equality Forum are also supporting the Fund’s efforts.

Anyone receiving the Fund will need to be referred – which might be through re:work directly if you live in Knowle West, a food bank, GP or district nurse. Other sources are community or religious organisations, schools, social prescribers, councillors or your local MP.

BEN has managed to secure external funding to cover the cost of recording and distributing the Fund – so all of the money given will go towards people’s energy bills.’

To find out more, get a referral form or donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/bristolemergencywinterfuelfund


Main image courtesy of Bristol Energy Network.