Bristol Impact Fund grant

Jamie Hanlon, January 2020

We are delighted to have been awarded £15,000 over two years from the Bristol Impact Fund, Bristol City Council's fund for voluntary and community organisations. Our grant is to work in partnership with Re:work Ltd and Hartcliffe & Withywood Community Partnership (HWCP), and with support from the Bristol Energy Network (BEN), to engage within the Filwood, Hartcliffe/Withywood and Knowle wards to assess the energy efficiency of homes, build capacity of volunteers who have an interest in reducing their energy costs / carbon footprint, and to facilitate home improvements through inclusive peer-to-peer learning and targeted training.

The volunteers from these wards will be offered free training to enable them to undertake paid work as Energy Tracers. We provide information, create jobs with digital skills, and help to save money and improve the homes and thus health and wellbeing of community members, whilst also lowering greenhouse emissions. We will be able to make a lasting difference to some of the poorest households in Bristol and increase their resilience and capacity for the future.

Cold homes lead to ill-health and lack of wellbeing. Each winter 9,700 excess deaths in the UK are linked to living in cold homes. These cold householders often lack access to information about the problems of their homes and how they can be remedied. Fuel poverty is caused by high fuel prices, low incomes and poor housing. Poor housing is caused by factors such as age of construction, structural problems, lack of insulation, poor maintenance leading to severe cold draughts and mould, ineffective previous retrofitting etc. If the thermal efficiency of a home is improved, those living there can do so more comfortably, with better health and lower bills. By finding out what is wrong first, with thermal imaging, we can target permanent remedies – that give lasting benefit.