Can You Spare Any Of Your Energy Rebate?

To help those in severe fuel hardship across the borough

A voucher prepayment initiative is being run in partnership with Thinking Works
A voucher prepayment initiative is being run in partnership with Thinking Works. Picture: Wandsworth Foodbank

December 16, 2022

Wandsworth Foodbank is reporting extreme challenges across the borough among people at the sharpest end of the cost of living crisis who can't afford to top-up their gas and electricity prepayment meters.

“People are asking us for food that doesn't need much, if any, cooking,” said the charity. “And many are saying they fear they won't turn their heating on at all this winter.

“We're very worried. Living in cold and damp homes severely impacts health, and many people referred to us have a long-term health condition or disability, or are caring for someone who does. We know that children are particularly vulnerable in cold and damp homes and around 1 in 3 emergency food parcels we provide are for children.”

Local residents are now being asked if they would very kindly donate towards fuel prepayment vouchers, either from any money not needed from energy rebate payments or winter fuel allowances this year, or simply as a special gift of whatever is affordable.

“We’ve often heard people say they wish they could donate their winter fuel allowance or energy rebate payment to directly help local people and families in greater need,” says Wandsworth Foodbank, who will convert donations into £49 fuel prepayment vouchers to be issued directly to local people referred to the charity as being in severe hardship. The £49 vouchers are for topping up prepayment meters, so that people can cook the food provided by the Foodbank and heat homes on the coldest days.

One resident describes daily agonising choices she has to make between food and heating, “I think, do I spend on food or on electric? When I get home I make myself a hot cup of tea, and I fill the hot water bottle that the Foodbank gave me, and I sit under a woolly blanket to keep warm.”

Another resident, who is a mum and a care worker on a zero-hours contract, had just £2 left on her electricity meter and was desperately worried. Wandsworth Foodbank were able to provide her with a £49 top-up voucher and let her know it was “thanks to people who cared about the difficulty she was facing”.

Wandsworth Foodbank is working on the voucher project in partnership with Thinking Works, an award-winning not-for-profit company that works with local authorities and housing associations to tackle fuel poverty.

Please click here to donate to the fuel prepayment voucher initiative.


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