Wilmslow Town Council pledges financial support to Citizens Advice-endorsed Home Energy Support Fund

Photograph of Councillor Martin Watkins, Jill Walsh and Will McKellar from Citizens Advice Cheshire North and Wilmslow Town Council Chairman Frank McCarthy

At its meeting in December 2022, Wilmslow Town Council pledged financial support towards the ‘Home Energy Support Fund’.

The Home Energy Support Fund is organised by Citizens Advice Cheshire North, who are funded with an annual grant from Wilmslow Town Council to provide a free confidential advice service in Wilmslow.

The Home Energy Support Fund uses funds made available through Cheshire East Council and added to by local people making voluntary donations through the HESF JustGiving page (link below). Wilmslow Town Councillors have pledged make a payment of £10,000 to the Fund in April 2023.

Aimed to help the most vulnerable members of our community who are struggling to afford to heat their homes, Citizens Advice Cheshire North hope the Home Energy Support Fund will enable people who are having difficulty paying for their domestic fuel to put their heating on, through the provision of vouchers or a bank transfer directly to their energy company. Alongside this, Citizens Advice will provide advice to help people to maximise their income and minimise their outgoings, to assist them to manage longer term.

Wilmslow Town Council Chairman, Frank McCarthy, said, “Wilmslow Town Council is pleased to be able to contribute towards a fund that, at a time when finances are under strain for many, will make a big difference to local residents who need help. I would like to thank Councillor Martin Watkins for making the initial proposal, and my fellow Councillors for supporting the idea.
We encourage local residents and organisations to contribute to the fund if they are able to. Equally, if members of the community are struggling with their energy bills, please see if you qualify for support and seek advice to make this tough time a little easier.”

Jill Walsh, scheme co-ordinator, said, “Since the fund opened in December, we have had a steady flow of people needing help. The Home Energy Support Fund started in early November 2022 and has already had over 50 applications, with the expectation that these will only increase as more people become aware of its existence.

This Winter will be especially difficult for local people as everyone will see their fuel bills increasing, some by 300% to 400%.
The support of Wilmslow Town Council will ensure we can support more people well into 2023.
If we are to continue supporting local people, it is important that we get the donations into the fund; Wilmslow Town Council are really leading the way.”   

Do you need help with fuel costs?

The Citizens Advice Cheshire East and North Home Energy Support Fund is available to help people who are having difficulty paying for their domestic fuel to feel able to turn their heating on.
Funds have been made available through Cheshire East Council and this is added to by local people making voluntary donations through JustGiving.

To qualify for the Home Energy Support Fund, you must:

● Be a resident of Cheshire East
● Be unable to pay their domestic fuel bills
● Be in short-term hardship causing a suspension of any regular income, eg. loss of employment, delay or suspension of welfare benefit payment, relationship breakdown etc.
● Be able to demonstrate that they have contracted with a utility company for domestic fuel.
● Be prepared to engage with Citizens Advice Cheshire North regarding better value with fuel costs.

The fund will provide a maximum of £100 per household towards heating costs.

Application is through a referral form emailed to Jill Walsh at the email address below.

Payment will be made by BACs, online to the supplier, or through prepayment meters using vouchers.

For more information, please call 01625 708608 or email jill.walsh@citizensadvicecn.org.uk

Can you help others with their fuel costs?

Citizens Advice Cheshire North is asking that you please consider giving whatever you can to help raise funds to help others, whether it is the price of a cup of coffee or some of your £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme Payment.
Any amount you can give would really help.
Thank you for making a difference.

Ways to donate

Please visit:
You can send a cheque payable to Citizens Advice Cheshire North (endorsed Home Energy Support Fund on the back) to Citizens Advice Cheshire North, Sunderland House, Sunderland Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6JF

All donations will be ring-fenced to use only with this project.

If you are unable to donate, please share this information to help raise awareness of the fund.

For more information about the Citizens Advice service in Wilmslow, please visit: https://www.wilmslowtowncouncil.gov.uk/citizens-advice

Photograph (L-R): Councillor Martin Watkins, Jill Walsh (Citizens Advice Cheshire North), Wilmslow Town Council Chairman, Frank McCarthy, and Will McKellar (Citizens Advice Cheshire North).