The £500 grant from the Utilita Energy High 5 Awards was given to Chichester Wellbeing in partnership with the organisation START.

START is commissioned by Chichester Wellbeing to provide the Family Wellbeing Programme on behalf of Chichester Wellbeing. START supports families with overweight children to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is tailor-made for each individual family and supports them with cooking, nutrition advice and physical activity. START also work very closely with other services to remove barriers and help vulnerable families in need.

The grant will be used to provide:

  • a free slow cooker to 10 households so they can cook economically and healthily;
  • free sessions on how to use them and make affordable nutritious meals; and
  • advice and help to stay warm affordably this winter.

The partnership is one of 20 organisations to have received a grant from the scheme, which is coordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) in partnership with Utilita to help tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in local communities.

"We are really pleased to receive this award," says Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Services at Chichester District Council. "Chichester Wellbeing support many families who have to choose whether to heat or eat every winter. This grant will help expand the support that the team offers to some of the most vulnerable families that they work with. If you want to find out more about Chichester Wellbeing and the START programme, then I would urge people to contact them on 01243 521041."

Caroline Daplyn founder of START and The Family Wellbeing Programme said: "We are very excited about this innovative partnership. It is fantastic that using this award we are now able to support households in need be able to provide affordable, healthy and nutritious meals especially over the winter months. It will make a big difference to all those who receive one."

Bill Bullen, environmentalist and CEO of Utilita, commented: "As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, many families across the country may be worried about rising energy bills to keep their home warm during the winter months. That's why we have a number of programmes in place to help low-income households and vulnerable people, such as our 'Power Up' initiative which has honoured £5.8m in interest free loans to pay for energy since March 2020. The Utilita Energy High 5 Awards forms part of our ongoing commitment to help tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency and we're looking forward to seeing how the investment is spent in the coming months to help those most in need."

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, NEA commented: "This will be a difficult winter for many, but as our winners demonstrate, there is also some brilliant work being undertaken to help people in local communities stay warm at home. I want to thank Chichester District Council and Family Wellbeing for their commitment to assisting people in fuel poverty, and Utilita for their generosity in supporting these awards."

Date of release: 17 December 2020

Reference: 3960