Youngest ever ‘Heat Hero’ meets the oldest at awards ceremony

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Pictured from left to right: James Foster, Ted Evans with Lord Martin O’Neill of Clackmannan, President of NEA.

James, 19 and Ted, 94, were among the winners of the national Heat Hero award – for helping vulnerable people in the fight against fuel poverty.

James Foster from Wolverhampton, the youngest ever Heat Hero at age 19, met the oldest award winner 94-year-old Ted Evans from Denbigh, North Wales at a special ceremony in London yesterday.

The Heat Heroes awards scheme is run by fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA) in partnership with ScottishPower.

The awards are held to recognise individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ to help others in fuel poverty. Not-for-profit organisations including voluntary and statutory agencies, community groups and others are encouraged to nominate staff and volunteers for the award.

Ted, 94, works part time for Age Connects North Wales Central but also volunteers in his spare time. He’s achieved a tremendous amount for the service where he started volunteering 11 years ago. He helps people with welfare benefits advice as well as working on a number of other projects. He helps support other older people by maximising their income, tariff swapping, giving energy advice and encouraging people to get the flu vaccination. He passed the City and Guilds in Fuel Debt in the Community with flying colours. He visits client’s homes and takes new volunteers along to help them learn how to approach the work.

James, 19, works as an advanced apprentice for Wolverhampton Council and has already achieved a great deal in his short career. He has also managed to achieve the City and Guilds in Energy Awareness as well as a number of other qualifications. He goes above and beyond in his work. One example was when he visited an older couple, noticing they had health problems and that it was extremely cold, he swiftly arranged to visit contractors and get their housing works finished quickly. He also put their minds at rest over the costs as the council would pay the bill.

All of the Heat Heroes have made a big impact on their communities in the same way, going above and beyond to help others. Winners of the award included Rachel Kent, Wiltshire, Shelly Davis MacDonald, Sheffield, Ian Calvert, Yorkshire, Kim Bartle, Boston, Jake Ellis, Plymouth, Jack Dangerfield and Tim Beecher – Brighton, Kirsty Burns, Norfolk, Rosie Thorpe, Staffordshire, Christine Nicholls, Northumberland, Debra Fox, N.E Lincs, Angela Broadhurst, Oldham, Sandra Kargin, Wales and Giles Read, Harrow.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA commented: “I want to congratulate all of our Heat Heroes for the excellent job they are doing in helping often vulnerable people in their communities. Our youngest winner James Foster, 19, and our oldest Ted Evans, 94, just go to prove that age is no barrier when it comes to helping to tackle fuel poverty. Our winners are truly an inspiration to others and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Gillian Noble, Sales Director, ScottishPower, Retail and Generation, added: “We were proud to be sponsoring the Heat Heroes Awards for a fifth year. The hard work and commitment shown by these dedicated people within their communities is crucially important in helping to tackle fuel poverty. On behalf of ScottishPower I’d like to congratulate all the nominees and winners.”

Pictured from left to right (from front row): Giles Read; Sandra Kargin; Ted Evans; Kim Bartle; Row 2 – Mark Murphy (ScottishPower); Rachel Kent; Rosie Thorpe; Angela Broadhurst; Jake Ellis; Jack Dangerfield; Christine Nicholls; Tim Beecher; Debra Fox; Shelly Davis McDonald; Lord Martin O’Neill of Clackmannan (NEA President); Row 3 – James Foster; Kirsty Burns; Ian Calvert.

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