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ECINS Helps to End Fuel Poverty in Brighton

The Warmth for Wellbeing Project is tackling fuel poverty, excess winter deaths and improving the health and wellbeing of 1,000s of Brighton & Hove’s most vulnerable residents, using a single point of referral to a raft of joined-up, high quality services.

ECINS spoke to Paul Bramwell, Fuel Poverty Manager at Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice Bureau about the ways ECINS is assisting in the management of the project.

“The Warmth for Wellbeing Project is a partnership led by the Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice. The project partners are: Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, Age UK Brighton & Hove, Money Advice Plus, Brighton Housing Trust, Possibility People, St Luke’s Advice Service, Brighton & Hove Energy Saving Co-op, Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project, Hangleton & Knoll Project, The Bridge, Mind in Brighton & Hove, Brighton Women’s Centre, British Red Cross, and National Energy Action. The services we refer people to as part of this project are:

  • Free advice helpline
  • In-depth welfare, housing, benefits and debt advice
  • Home energy efficiency checks and measures
  • Hardship payments for residents most in need
  • Warmth packs distributed to the most vulnerable residents
  • Thermometers and information packs distributed via home visiting services

How ECINS has helped us is that wherever a client enters the project they receive a standard assessment, which then enables them to be referred on to a range of services through ECINS. The client only receives the assessment once and that information is made available to the organisations that they are referred to.

As project co-ordinators, we are able to see whether people have received services, and it has meant that clients haven’t fallen through the gaps in the way that they might if we were just sign-posting them. It has also facilitated partners to think in terms of people being the clients of the whole project, not just their own client, and has facilitated really great partnership working both between the project partners, but also with a wider network of organisations that are working towards the same / or similar goals.

More recently, there has been a conversation between the partners of a sister project – Moneyworks – about whether they too should use ECINS – as there are many of the same project partners and quite a lot of crossover between fuel poverty and financial inclusion so people using it can see the benefit.

Finally, ECINS has the best and most friendly technical support team of any IT company that I’ve ever worked with. We have been totally impressed. We have to name check Despina for being so lovely and Michael for sorting out how we get information back out of ECINS.

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