Despite producing an excess of electricity through renewable devices, Orkney continues to shockingly remain in the top spot when it comes to fuel poverty.
Older, draftier properties, high electricity tariffs along with cold and windy weather has insured that many people in Orkney continue to spend a considerable part of their income on just keeping their home warm. Indeed some have to make the stark choice between eating and heating.
Established in December 2014 THAW Orkney is a charitable organisation which has done amazing work in the islands to help people with their energy needs. They have provided practical support, accessed funding, collaborated with other organisations to help people out and conducted research into how fuel poverty affects physical and mental well being. All of these they continue to do.
Funding has been received from the Robertson Trust and NHS Orkney to employ a Community Support Officer.
The role will provide specific person-centred support for people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. Together with challenging health inequalities and promoting positive health and wellbeing the Community Support Officer will support vulnerable people to have access to, and engage with, local and national support services.THAW Impact Report
Here are just some of the achievements of THAW Orkney which have benefited the People of Orkney:
- Helped over 1000 Orkney households since December 2015
- Successful funding acquired of £1,192,128 up until the year of July 2020
- £1,815,518 committed to tackling fuel poverty
- £256,903.66 installing energy efficiency measures
- Helped households with a cancer diagnosis through securing funding
- Installed heating systems and other critical measures to help vulnerable clients not eligible for support through national programmes
- Helped to deliver and install white goods to those with a cancer diagnosis
- 46 households supported with the Small Measures Grant
- 360 households supported with Cosy Home Pack to help those in fuel poverty keep warm
- 3,482 individual items distributed through the Cosy Home Packs
- Supported customers changing to other tariffs and suppliers
- 141 households supported with electricity vouchers
- Referred 741 people to other agencies for additional support
- Collecting data on the link between fuel poverty and ill health
This is an incredible list of achievements by a local organisation in such a short time.
Whilst Orkney continues to have a shocking rate of fuel poverty it is thanks to THAW Orkney that islanders have somewhere to turn to locally to support them. THAW Orkney do this by effectively working with other organisations and with staff who are trained to the highest of standards. The additional work they are now carrying out on the link between fuel poverty and physical and mental ill health is crucial to provide evidence to politicians and national policy makers. If fuel poverty is to be relegated to the history books it can only be done so by the actions of our elected governments.
In the meantime it is thanks to THAW that at least there is support for those who struggle to heat their homes.
You can download the THAW Impact Report here: THAW Impact Report
Reporter: Fiona Grahame