Help people keep warm in the winter months

5 March 2018

The cold weather can be difficult for some to cope with, especially those forced to choose between paying for food on the table or fuel to heat their home.

Cheshire West residents Peter and Sarah, whose names have been changed, found themselves in circumstances where they struggled to cope with the cold. 

When Peter’s wife came out of hospital he was finding it difficult to afford to heat his home to a temperature which would help her to heal. 
Single mother of three Sarah could not afford to pay for electricity to cook meals during the school holidays.

Peter and Sarah were helped by the Winter Fuel Bank, which is run by Cheshire West and Chester Council in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Peter worked with a support worker to put other solutions in place to heat his home. Sarah had budgeting support and debt advice to ensure her pre payment meter was paid off.

Other people identified as suffering real hardship are being offered emergency assistance by the Winter Fuel Bank, which works in a similar way to a food bank. This winter, 15 people have been helped by the Ellesmere Port Winter Fuel Bank, each receiving an average of £26. Up to 17 people have been supported with an average payment of £22 from the Vale Royal Winter Fuel Bank.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Healthbox CIC are providing the Winter Fuel Bank for Ellesmere Port. The CAB act as a point of contact for people to ask for assistance and Healthbox CIC has the ring-fenced account to pay energy providers.

To help run the Fuel Bank for next winter, donations from businesses and residents are being sought.

Councillor Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: “Thank you in advance to anyone who can help keep our residents warm in winter. 

“If anyone who is eligible for the Winter Fuel Allowance who does not actually need any financial assistance to heat their home would like to give a helping hand to those who are, do please get on board and help everyone have a cosy home during winter.” To donate to the Ellesmere Port Winter Fuel Bank, please contact Healthbox CIC on 01513550205. Or make cheques payable to Healthbox CIC Fuel Bank and send to Healthbox, Unit 6 Venture Point, Stanney Mill Lane, Cheshire Oaks, CH2 4NE.

To donate to the Vale Royal Winter Fuel Bank, which covers Winsford and Northwich, send a cheque, made payable to Vale Royal Lions and with 'Fuel Bank' written on the back, to Vale Royal Lions, 10 Blandford Drive, Northwich, CW9 8UD.

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