£100,000 ScottishPower Energy People Trust grant to heal East Coast infants stay cosy.

A new project that will help hundreds of East Coast families with young children to stay warm was launched today, thanks to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust.

Cosy Kids Project

The Cosy Kids project will help over 200 vulnerable households and 400 additional individuals – including many new babies and pre-school children – in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian – to live in affordably warm, damp-free homes.

The project is being funded entirely by a £117,000 grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust. The Trust was established in January to fund not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable families and young people who need to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills and suffer from fuel poverty.

Managed by Edinburgh-based charity Changeworks (formerly LEEP), the grant will involve setting up a specialised unit that will primarily work with health visitors to ensure that young children are not living in cold, damp and draughty homes which will affect their health.

The Cosy Kids project will also promote energy efficiency grants, refer people to money advice and advocacy services, provide talks to groups of new parents about keeping their homes affordably warm and dry, educate health visitors in the area about the benefits of warm housing and visit families in their own homes to assess the type of help they need.

The grant marks a watershed in the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, which has now committed almost £1million to projects that are tackling fuel poverty in communities throughout Great Britain.

Willie MacDiarmid, Managing Director of ScottishPower, said: “The Cosy Kids project is a fantastic example of the type of project that the ScottishPower Energy People Trust was set up to help. The Trust is unique in channelling funds to those organisations that are working at grassroots levels to assist those members of our society who are living in fuel poverty.

“The Cosy Kids project will reach hundreds of the youngest and newest members of our society who often suffer most from fuel poverty. By using existing networks of health visitors, community groups and crèches to provide advice and grants, help will be given to vulnerable people when they need it most.”

He added: “The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is one of its kind in Great Britain and since we launched in January this year, almost £1million in grants have been awarded to projects which tackle fuel poverty all over Britain, many of which focus on families, children and young people. We are now looking forward to supporting many other projects that are working to eradicate fuel poverty around the country.”

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust grant will fund Cosy Kids for two years and will use a network of health visitors, community groups for mothers and toddlers, crèches and the Community Education Service to reach vulnerable families.

Simon Lee, Director of Changeworks, said: “Changeworks is already working to alleviate fuel poverty through successful initiatives, such as Warm and Well, so I am delighted that the ScottishPower Energy People Trust is supporting the ground-breaking Cosy Kids project.

“This grant will help us to focus on the families by making sure that parents get the advice, information and support they need to enable them to keep their hopes warm and dry and that children get a better start in life.”

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