Wheels in motion for Citizens Advice Derbyshire as they scoop national award

Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts and their project partner Derbyshire County Council are celebrating after their project Wheels to Warmth was named the national 1st prize winner of the Energy Impact Awards, beating more than 80 competing entries.

The Energy Impact Awards, run by leading fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) in partnership with British Gas, recognise best practice amongst agencies carrying out work that focuses on energy projects tackling fuel poverty by benefiting vulnerable people in the local area.

Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts was awarded a £10,000 grant for their project “Wheels to Warmth” which targets energy advice and support to people in the most rural and isolated communities in Derbyshire. In partnership with the Mobile Library service it provides advice directly to over 50 hamlets and small villages that suffer from rural isolation and lack of access to services including broadband, transport and gas. It also provides information, training and support to frontline workers to help them provide support and advice around energy and tackling fuel poverty.

Chloe Doxey, Chief Officer, Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts, said: “We’re delighted that our work within the heart of our communities is being recognised with this award. The ‘Wheels to Warmth’ mobile service will enable us to bring specialist energy advice to the doorsteps of some of the area’s most isolated and vulnerable communities in Derbyshire Dales and High Peak.  Many of these households face barriers to accessing services and cheaper energy deals, exacerbated by the complete lack of public transport in some villages and hamlets, and having particular housing problems, such as stone wall cottages that are particularly hard to heat and expensive to insulate.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of Communications and External Relations at NEA said: “We were delighted with the interest in the award scheme this year which saw the highest number of highly commendable projects in England, Scotland and Wales ever received for the scheme. I congratulate Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts on their initiative which will reach the most remote and vulnerable people in rural communities and help them to keep warm and well in their homes. I would like to thank British Gas for supporting the scheme, enabling these excellent local projects to continue to develop.”

Steve Crabb, Director of Consumer Vulnerability at British Gas said: “I congratulate Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts on their Wheels for Warmth initiative, which will have a huge impact in rural and isolated communities. There is so much great work being done in communities across Britain to help people save energy and end the scourge of fuel poverty. That’s what these awards are all about, and that’s why British Gas is so proud to be involved with them and committed to working with NEA.”

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