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Bridgend Carers Centre has received funding which has allowed them to employ an advisor solely focussed on providing energy efficiency, energy bill and carbon monoxide advice to people living across the area.

With the increasing focus on bills and the rising costs of living, the advisor will provide a specific service to both carers, and those being cared for, through one-to-one in-person appointments, a telephone support line, and walk-in sessions, which will be available at Bridgend Carers Centre in Park Street.  

As part of the role, the advisor will also help individuals claim benefits, provide debt management advice, help with utility tariff switching and make referrals through to Wales & West Utilities existing network of partnerships. They will also be able to actively register carers, and those being cared for, to the Priority Services Register (PSR), make referrals for specialist support with fitting Locking Cooker Valves and distribute free carbon monoxide alarms.

Gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities has provided the £50,000 funding as part of its Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA).

Helen Pitt, Chief Executive Officer at Bridgend Carers Centre, said:

“We are delighted that Wales & West Utilities has partnered with us to allow us to offer this increasingly important service to our carers and their clients.

“We are all feeling the impacts of the rising costs of living, but this service will allow our carers and their clients to gain bespoke advice, relating to their specific set of circumstances, to allow them to benefit both financially and from a gas safety perspective.”

Bridgend Carers Centre supports people caring for family members, friends or neighbours. It helps with information, advice, support and social events to help people in their caring roles.

Tom Robinson, Social Obligations Specialist at Wales & West Utilities, said:

“We’re happy that this funding will allow Bridgend Carers Centre to provide such an important service to their clients.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to support those most in need in our communities. Working with a trusted partner like Bridgend Carers Centre means we are able to help more people stay safe in their own homes, whilst gaining access to energy efficiency advice.”

Between April 2021 to March 2026, Wales & West Utilities have £7m to spend on projects which can support consumers in vulnerable situations or raise the awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and keep people safe from the ‘silent killer’.

It’s called the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA), and 75% of the money will be spent in Wales and south west England, while 25% will be spent on collaborative projects with the other gas networks in England and Scotland.

If you have a project that you think Wales & West Utilities could support, either individually or collaboratively with other gas networks, then contact Wales & West Utilities at VCMA@wwutilities.co.uk.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.