National Energy Action (NEA) is rolling out a project across England and Wales to provide vital advice and support to new and expectant parents at a time when having a warm, safe home is of paramount importance.
The arrival of a baby into a family when they are already experiencing hardship can greatly increase the risk of fuel poverty.
Already, in the UK, four million households are in fuel poverty. The official definition of a fuel poor household for England is one which has above-average energy costs and, if paying those costs, would push them below the poverty line.
It is particularly important when you have a young baby that homes are kept at a safe temperature. According to the NHS, between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius (60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), is best. Babies also struggle to regulate their body temperature in the same way as adults – they are unable to shiver. If their body temperature gets too low, it can lead to health complications. Keeping babies warm – but not too warm – is vital.
However, it can be hard for families experiencing fuel poverty to keep their homes warm and therefore safe for their new babies.
Warm Welcome Help
The Warm Welcome project is funded by the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme. Through the project, National Energy Action (NEA) will deliver community advice sessions. These will help pregnant people and their families manage their fuel bills to achieve affordable warmth.
National Energy Action (NEA) will also offer free training for frontline professionals who work with pregnant people and their families. This means they will be in a better position to provide advice and support. They can also refer families to sources of assistance if required.
If you are concerned about keeping your home warm and are pregnant or have a baby then please contact WASH (Warm and Safe Homes) helpline. Call 0800 304 7159 or go to the WASH homepage.
Do you work with new and expectant parents? If so and you would be interested in having one of our staff attend a group session to provide advice on keeping warm and managing fuel bills, please contact Nicky Swetnam.
If you are a front line professional and would like to learn more about the free training National Energy Action (NEA) offers please contact Lynsey Thompson.