Blackpool has more households classed as fuel poor (15.2%) than any other part of Lancashire, a startling statistic, especially when compared with the national average of 10.3% (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). The reasons for this are complex and varied, and a solution requires focus from multiple areas. Many organisations across the North West are already working hard to address this issue. But what if efforts could be enhanced in a specific area, such as Blackpool, through channelling resources and working smarter together?
Warren Ward, Director of Barkers, believes wholeheartedly in the power of connecting organisations to effect change. An Executive Director on the Fylde Coast Responsible Business Network, Warren knew of the Cadent Foundation, which was set up by local gas network Cadent, to make a positive and lasting impact on fuel poverty through working with charities that address the root causes.
Warren connected Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, with Maggie Cornall, Director of Operations at Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH) which manages the Council’s social housing stock and provides related services to its tenants and leasehold customers. Together Blackpool Coastal Housing, Cadent Foundation and Cadent, have collaborated to fund and establish the Warm and Healthy Homes Project, an initiative that supports vulnerable people to access support that will improve energy efficiency within their homes. The timing couldn’t be better, with households across the UK facing rising prices for basic necessities such as food and energy.