Seeing the difference we make in action

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Macmillan Cancer Support to hear first-hand about the difference NEA training makes for real people.

On a wet and windy day Chris Ellis (NEA Training and Assessment Manager) and I made the journey to Saltaire, a Victorian model village in ShipleyWest Yorkshire to meet members of the team. The team offer support and advice to help source funding for people living with cancer, who are struggling to keep warm, regardless of who supplies their energy.

We were welcomed by Alison the Energy Team Leader who gushed about how much she enjoyed the Level 3 Award in Energy Awareness course and how she has become an energy advocate in and out of work.

We heard from Alison and her colleague Paul about the course itself but also what difference it has made to them as energy advisers and to their customers.

The customers the team work with are living with cancer and they need to be able to keep warm and keep the heating on; so many traditional energy saving initiatives are simply not suitable. This means the team have to think of other solutions to save their customers money.

Paul recounted with a smile how he successfully helped one customer who was really struggling to understand their tariff. He was able to use the NEA Energy In the Home course booklet to calculate whether their existing tariff was the most suitable and best value for money – it wasn’t and Paul was able to identify a better tariff and saved that customer money.

Alison remembered fondly just a mere week after completing the course, hearing members of her team confidently and competently providing much-needed energy advice – discussing chimney balloons and how to read your meter. She’s extremely pleased that her staff have been provided not only with knowledge but confidence too.

Thanks to NEA training Alison has actually increased who can be referred into their small niche team to receive support and advice. She firmly believes that anybody could benefit from support from her team.

They have both changed their behaviour and habits in a personal capacity too. They are thinking of ways to save themselves, friends and family energy and money too – whether it’s turning lights off, not overfilling the kettle or identifying ways of reducing damp and condensation in the home.

I asked if they would recommend this course to other organisations and they both exclaimed “YES DEFINITELY” with Alison adding they wished they’d done it sooner!

Despite Paul having previously worked in energy advice he still learned “a hell of a lot” and found the course extremely, enjoyable although intense.

You can hear more from Alison and Paul in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KzqnI0AWLg&t=48s

By Rachael Stray

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