If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety, call 0800 111 999 at any time of the day or night. Read more

Press Office
0113 322 7950

Out of hours: 0113 322 7978

Stakeholder Relations Team

stakeholder@northerngas.co.uk

Smell Gas?
0800 111 999
Day or night
Non-emergency calls
Customer Care Team
0800 040 7766

Funding

At the start of  RIIO-GD2, Ofgem introduced a Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA). This £60 million fund was split between all four gas distribution networks to spend between 2021 and 2026, to do much more than keep customers safe and warm.

Northern Gas Networks received £1 million each year to spend on innovations and initiatives tackling vulnerability and carbon monoxide awareness in our region, with 25% ringfenced for collaborative projects.

We’re working with a host of partners, charities and organisations to help us do this, and fully understand the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, in order to ensure they are supported in using energy in a safe and efficient way.

In October 2023 the VCMA allowance was increased to £170 million, raising our allowance to the equivalent of around £4 million per year.

Projects

We’re working with a host of partners, charities and organisations to help us to invest the VCMA funding on the projects where it will have greatest impact, and fully understand the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, in order to ensure they are supported in using energy in a safe and efficient way.

Projects must meet strict eligibility criteria in order to qualify, focus on vulnerability and CO safety that go beyond activities currently funded through our regulatory price control mechanisms, or our licence obligations.

All are tailored to the specific needs of our communities and align with our Vulnerability Strategy, which we created with the support and insight of stakeholders and third sector organisations, to ensure the most effective delivery.

Update – 19 April 2024:

We have now committed around 90% of our overall VCMA funding, supporting 116 projects throughout our region.  From Friday 19 April we have temporarily paused new applications for funding while we consider our future direction and review how to allocate our remaining funding allowance.

This decision will not impact any existing live projects where contracts are already in place, and we’ll continue to consider any proposals submitted before 19 April and be in touch with applicants directly.

If you have any questions please contact the Social Strategy team at vcma@northerngas.co.uk

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Age UK - Energy Safeguarding - Helping older people live in safe and warm homes

    Extension of existing partnership scope until March 2026 NGN, SGN and WWU only; • Expand support to include a form filler service on the Advice Line supporting older people with complex forms especially Attendance Allowance that supports 350 people • Develop and launch a pilot of crisis support to 100 older people

  • Northern Gas Networks – Centre for warmth Project Coordinator

    The role will be one of a supportive nature, solely responsible for coordinating the delivery of a range of centre for warmth projects and will facilitate a single point of contact for partners and internal colleagues alike. The benefits realised by working closely with partners, will include demonstrating good practice in areas such as supporting the delivery of affordable warmth solutions for low income households and customers living in vulnerable situations. Energy efficiency and fuel poverty support, financial support, raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and Priority Services Register (PSR) will all be themes that run through this support role. The role will require an understanding of the development of partnership working with Local Authorities, housing providers, energy sector partners, community sector and charities, across NGN’s footprint.

  • NSPCC Collaborative GDN Project

    This project aims to raise awareness of the NSPCC helpline and share techniques on how to spot potential child mistreatment through delivering "It's Your Call" training to GDN staff and contractors. The project will look to collaborate with the NSPCC to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and their families that are reached via this project. This will be done through 3 sub-projects. This project covers each GDN area

  • Collaborative VCMA project - Kidney Care UK - Safe and Warm: Providing a Critical Lifeline to Dialysis Patients Across the UK

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common, long term and irreversible condition affecting up to 7.2m million people or around 1 in 10 of the adult population in the UK. Numbers are expected to rise significantly over the next decade, driven by the increase in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, which can all lead to an increased risk of CKD. This project mainly focuses on two out of four key pillars of our collaborative strategy: ‘Supporting Priority Groups’ and ‘Fuel Poverty and Energy Affordability’ but also aligns to a third pillar ‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness’. The project will provide a holistic suite of services including face to face advocacy support and a telephone helpline service, where customers will get assistance with benefit entitlement, welfare support and specialist money and energy advice. The delivery of these services will be tailored to the needs of CKD patients to maximise outcomes in terms of financial support and awareness and energy safeguarding. The project covers each GDN area

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Maggie’s Centres – Safe and Warm"

    Maggie’s and the GDNs will work together to develop tailored resources such as leaflets and webinars guiding Maggie’s expert resources to support people suffering from cancer, their family and friends with practical steps linked to energy safeguarding. The programme will upskill Maggie’s Benefit Advisors to support clients with conversations around energy safeguarding, PSR awareness and registration, carbon monoxide awareness and access to free CO alarms for those who are unable to afford them and provide guidance on energy usage and efficiency. These additional support services will complement Maggie’s existing service around delivering money, benefits, and welfare advice. The project will cover each GDN area

  • Collaborative project - Warm Homes, Healthy Futures: A Health Collaboration with National Energy Action

    The proposed Warm Homes, Healthy Futures (WHHF) project is an evidence-based, multi-year, GB-wide project. It will connect health professionals and local public health bodies to energy advice and other specialist services, to support people to live in warm and safe homes and improve health. The project will align actors and activities to tackle health inequalities and fuel poverty simultaneously. To gain maximum traction with local health partners and greatest social and health return on investment, we would use the NHS England Core20Plus5 approach to guide the project and unlock health sector partnerships. This is an existing framework for action across much of the NHS that closely mirrors VCMA priorities around low-income areas, priority demographics and cold homes related health conditions. Although this framework has been developed for use in England, NEA believe that the same model can also be applied to target those worst affected by cold homes in Wales and Scotland. The Project will improve health by addressing issues caused by living in cold damp homes by undertaking the following activities.

  • Collaborative - Bonanza - CO schools education VCMA PEA - GD2 extension

  • MEC Heating on Prescription Pilot - PEA

  • PEA doc - Community Action Northumberland – Holistic Sustainable Community Buildings Project

  • CE-Fuel Poverty Advisory Service Home Heating Hub

  • CAB Bradford

  • VCMA - Groundwork Energy Matters - Yorkshire extension

    Groundwork Yorkshire already support many vulnerable customers who are struggling to pay bills or top-up prepayment meters. Fuel poverty and stretched household budgets also have indirect impacts for example, not having the money to get appliances serviced or chimneys swept, using a hob or cooker for warmth, or blocking vents, could all increase the exposure risk to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This project aims to reduce energy costs, increase energy-efficiency and improve health & wellbeing. They also complete PSR referrals and raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning & the need to have both regular appliance safety checks & CO monitors installed. This project covers the Yorkshire area

  • VCMA - Community Action Northumberland – Energy support for the unemployed in Northumberland

    Northumberland is one of the most sparsely populated counties in England with just 63 people per square kilometre. 40.7% of Northumberland’s population – 151,885 people live in rural areas (defined as small towns & fringes, villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings). Of these more than 20% are over the age of 65, 15,075 people report themselves as having a limiting long-term illness and 17,550 people are income deprived. The key issues to be addressed are a need for quality energy advice services to support unemployed and underemployed people living in rural Northumberland through the cost-of-living crisis.

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Warm and Safe Homes – National Extension 2023 - 2025

    The four Great Britain gas distribution networks will provide funding to deliver a twoyear partnership under the Fuel Poverty and Affordability pilar of the VCMA in alignment with our collaborative VCMA strategy. The project will be delivered across England, Wales (both by NEA), and Scotland (the Wise Group). The project’s delivery will be split into the following activities, ensuring a range of audiences are reached through a hybrid of remote and face to face engagement. 1. Home energy efficiency, income maximisation, Priority Services Register (PSR) and access to industry funding advice will be delivered remotely through NEA’s Warm and Safe Homes (WASH) and the Wise Group’s Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT) advice lines. NEA and the Wise Group will also offer in-depth case work support to clients experiencing complex issues. Examples of the areas of support offered through the advice lines and case work activities include tariff and switching advice, billing and supplier enquiry resolution, condensation/dampness support, and access to industry grants such as the Warm Homes Discount. 2. Face to face advice on home energy efficiency, income maximisation, PSR, and access to industry funding will be delivered through targeted community events, hosted by specialist advisors from both NEA and the Wise Group. The face-to-face community events will be delivered in areas of significant need; the level of need assessed by measures such as fuel poverty rates, index of multiple deprivation, scale of existing services, and presence of customer demographics most impacted by fuel poverty. 3. The administration of a hardship fund to further support the most vulnerable clients and provide invaluable assistance during a time of crisis. The hardship fund will be used by NEA and the Wise Group on measures that provide immediate support to households in crisis such as emergency prepayment vouchers, the clearing of energy debt, and credit direct to suppliers. The GDNs and delivery partners will agree a framework of eligibility criteria based on factors such as household income, number of dependents, and access to alternate support to ensure that the hardship funds support those most in need.

  • Collaborative GDN Winter & Summer Awareness Campaigns

    The colder months of winter represent added risk and challenge for many customers living in vulnerable situations. An increase in the demand for energy not only increases the cost of energy bills, but also increases the risk of issues with household gas supplies and appliances thus increasing the risk of incidents relating to CO poisoning. The current costs of living perhaps presents an even greater challenge with the added financial burden placed on many families as a result of the rising prices across many commodities. The project has three main objectives: 1. Raise Awareness - Use mass reaching channels to launch with a memorable device; priming audiences to look out for Carbon Monoxide concerns and awareness of the PSR. 2. Education and Consideration - Use of contextually relevant dwell channels and useful content to be consistently present and engaging once people are aware of Carbon Monoxide and the PSR, building trust and consideration. 3. Take action - Use targeted, contextual, agile channels and messages to offer an immediate solution to their concern

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Policy Connect/APPCOG - Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (COAW) Campaign

    The campaign will run throughout CO Awareness Week (COAW) which will run 21 – 27 November and will be preceded by two preparatory events on 2 and 8 November. The campaign messages will reflect the core principles of carbon monoxide safety, including alarm maintenance, servicing of appliances, and awareness of symptoms. This year will also feature a theme “cutting corners costs lives” to highlight the risks that can arise when households try and cut their heating costs, such as blocking up ventilation passages or using outdoor cooking equipment inside. The campaign will aim to engage potentially 10-25 million unique users through multiple media channels focusing on three key messages: Symptoms awareness CO risks: Cutting corners costs lives: outdoor equipment, do not DIY Getting the most out of your alarm: test regularly & note expiry date Importance of ventilation in the home: cooking, not blocking vents Accessing household support (e.g., CAB, NEA, GDNs etc) Gas Emergency number

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Services beyond the meter

    The whole concept of the Services Beyond the Meter (SBtM) programme is to offer customers in vulnerable situations a way to keep themselves safe, warm, and independent in their own home giving them access to support that wasn’t previously there. Where we have attended a natural gas or CO emergency and isolated the gas supply, we now have the means to return and test the appliances to confirm safe operation and ultimately, restore the gas supply to the customer’s property either by repair or replacement on the installation.

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Citizens Advice National - Energy Safeguarding and CO Safety partnership 23/24 – 25/26

    This project operates within Northern Gas Networks, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities networks and extends the previous collaborative partnership from April 2023 through to the end of March 2026. It has been co-designed with Citizens Advice to increase capacity for their Energy Advice Programme, provide much needed CO awareness capability and find solutions that work for all our customers. It qualifies under the VCMA funding criteria as it will provide energy efficiency advice and CO safety advice/interventions, empowering each householder to use energy safely, efficiently, and affordably.

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Preventing Harm from Environmental Exposure to Carbon Monoxide (PHECO) - E-Learning For Health

    Awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and how to ensure that those who are exposed are protected, is low amongst health and social care staff. This is particularly an issue when staff are working with the most vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and older people. CO symptoms can be non-specific and mimic other conditions. Health/social care staff need not only the knowledge and skills, but also the resources to support identification of CO poisoning. This project will develop a generic learning module to help a broad range of health and social care staff better understand the harm caused by exposure to carbon monoxide, how to identify those at risk and how to protect them from harm. Building on this generic learning module we will add further depth by developing short topic/ professional specific learning modules, those areas could include pregnancy, emergency department, care of older people, dementia care and medical examiners.

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Carbon monoxide schools’ education 2022 - 26

    To reach young people through primary schools with tailored educational sessions and supporting resources in an environment where they are focused on learning and most likely to be receptive to CO safety advice. To educate, engage and empower over 14,000 young people, increasing their understanding of the dangers and ways in which they can prevent harm for themselves and others from CO. Covers the whole of SGN and NGN area

  • VCMA Collaborative project - Phase 2 Game Over carbon monoxide young persons’ awareness campaign

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) can pose a serious threat to human health and even fatality, with around 30 - 40 deaths caused by CO poisoning each year in the UK and 4,000 people treated in hospital as a result of CO poisoning. Lack of awareness of the risks of CO and ways in which to prevent CO harm are major contributing factors to the current number of CO-related deaths and injuries, with safety devices such as CO alarms available as a relatively low-cost item and widely accessible. Young people, aged 16-24yrs show an attitude to their personal safety from CO poisoning that puts them in one of the most at risk groups from CO harm and one of the least aware about the dangers of CO. Gas and CO safety research carried out collaboratively by all GDNs in 2020 showed awareness of CO poisoning fatality was significantly lower amongst younger people (82% for 16-24yr olds compared to 92% overall) and this age group is far less likely to have a working audible CO alarm (26% compared to 63% of 65 – 74yrs) and less likely to think it important to have gas appliances annually services (79% compared to 97% for 65-74yr olds). It also showed that nearly half (49%) of 16-24yr olds thought that CO had a smell. Will cover the whole of the UK

  • VCMA Collaborate project - Warm Homes Network - Fuel-poverty partner ecosystem 2023/24 (Birmingham and Cumbria pilots)

    Cadent and NGN will continue to work with expert partners to deliver two Fuel Poverty Partner Ecosystem pilots alongside a scaling strategy which will guide the implementation of the newly developed service in a wider range of regions. The first phase of the Fuel Poverty Partner Ecosystem focussed on understanding the challenges that fuel poor households face and the barriers that organisations face in delivering support to alleviate fuel poverty. In the subsequent phases, a new proposition which joins-up support services for fuel poor customers will be designed n the subsequent phases, a new proposition which joins-up support services for fuel poor customers will be designed and tested in two regions (Birmingham and Cumbria).

  • Groundwork - Green Doctor English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) project

    This project aims to increase and enable more effective support for ethnic minorities, asylum seekers and refugees. The Green Doctors would like to develop a tailored energy awareness presentation/information sessions delivered to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes across West Yorkshire.

  • Northern Gas Networks – VCMA administration

    The VCMA allowance is new in GD2, it has been designed to enable the delivery of the gas networks social Business Plan commitments that safeguard vulnerable customers and increases CO awareness in the respective network areas. Several teams are required to input into the administration of VCMA, such as legal, procurement, finance and data protection. Dedicated time is required from different departments within NGN to implement VCMA projects and get them off up and running. The administration of VCMA projects will be on-going throughout GD2 (1ST April 2021 – 31st March 2026). The funding will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with the Vulnerability Team, as well as other departments withing NGN. Responsibilities will also include portfolio management from initial concept to completion, the coordination, measurement, and insight sharing, as well as the delivery of the Annual VCMA report(s) and the VCMA Annual Showcase. This will cover all of NGN’s geographical areas.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford) - Vulnerability Film Festivals - Using Film To identify vulnerable Communities

    There are vulnerable communities within the Bradford district who may not be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the efficient use of fuel and energy, such as refugees, low income families, elderly and BAME communities. Many refugees arriving in the United Kingdom face multiple health challenges. Some refugees’ health issues result from experiences in their home countries; others may develop once they arrive and this can lead to individuals living with addictions. Because refugees generally live in low-income housing, one concern can be the impact on health (physical and mental) from living in poor housing (cold/damp homes) which can increase the risk of fuel poverty. Even when living in safe housing however, refugees who lack experience with western-style homes and are from different cultural backgrounds, may be at greater risk. In addition, limited English and literacy skills may prevent some refugee families from learning how to safely use and maintain their new homes. This has the potential to lead to the risk of CO poisoning from appliances, as they may be unsure of how to safely maintain these and may be unaware of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning. There is a big gap in knowledge within these different cultures, especially around heating and cooking, in terms of CO awareness. This project is aimed at low income, BAME and eastern European people within the community, who are living with addictions. Many refugees in the United Kingdom face multiple health challenges. Having complex needs such as mental health and addiction challenges, as well as financial hardship, makes it even more difficult to engage with this group. This project will take place in Bradford and Keighley.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Mental Health Film and Conversations Project

    There are vulnerable communities within the Bradford district who may not be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, such as refugees, low income families, elderly and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. This project is aimed at people with mental health issues within the community who may struggle to understand fuel poverty and the dangers of CO. Many refugees arriving in the United Kingdom face multiple health challenges. Some refugees’ health issues result from experiences in their home countries, others may develop once they arrive. Because refugees generally live in low-income housing, one concern can be the impact on health (physical and mental) from living in poor housing (cold/damp homes) which can increase the risk of fuel poverty. Even when living in safe housing however, refugees who lack experience with western-style homes and are from different cultural backgrounds, may be at greater risk than native residents. In addition, limited English and literacy skills may prevent some refugee families from learning how to safely use and maintain their new homes. This has the potential to lead to the risk of CO poisoning from appliances, if the families are unsure of how to safely maintain these and may be unaware of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning. There is a big gap in knowledge within these different cultures, especially around heating and cooking, in terms of CO awareness. In terms of fuel poverty, they are unlikely to be aware of the impact of fuel poverty and what can be done to mitigate against it. This will be even more difficult to understand, for those living with mental health challenges. This project will take place in Bradford and surrounding area

  • Everyday Enable CIC – Welfare Support and Training

    Everyday Enable will be addressing the lack of support available for people to access the welfare benefits system. They know that people do not understand the benefit system and how to navigate it, resulting in them not having the confidence and knowledge to claim the correct benefits, resulting in poverty and rising debts. Families often having to make the decision to heat their homes or feed themselves healthy nutritional meals. This project will raise awareness amongst both individuals in the community and professionals about the welfare benefit system, and what help and support is available to those who are vulnerable. The support available includes help to claim benefits, apply for bus passes and blue badges, information about the Priority Services Register, and the importance of having a co2 monitor. This project will cover the North Yorkshire area with online training across North East England.

  • Highfield CO-OP - Community Energy Café

    There are a lot of long term unemployed and low skilled people living in the Keighley area of Bradford. As well as this challenge, these customers are also experiencing fuel poverty. This project is being supported as our social indicator mapping research has highlighted that there are 9,646 people unemployed in the Bradford area and 13,455 claiming benefits. This research suggests the NGN area has a higher proportion of both unemployment and benefit claimants than nationally - approx. 146,000 are unemployed and 139,000 are on claimant count benefits. Places with pronounced concentrations on both measures include Bradford. This project will take place in Keighley and Braford.

  • Yorkshire Coast Sight Support - Breathing Safe, Keeping Warm

    Scarborough Borough has a 1.5% higher number of visually impaired residents over the national average, approximately 5,500 residents (RNIB Figures). All Yorkshire Coast Sight Support (YCSS) service users are visually impaired, most are 70+ and have a number of additional health conditions. From an initial chat to their luncheon / social groups many were not aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and almost all don’t have CO. It’s also very apparent that (YCSS) service users have little knowledge of energy efficiency, keeping warm in the cold or any energy help schemes available to the elderly. Many of YCSS service users live in homes that are too large but are family homes and have memories. There is a mistrust of people coming into their homes amongst their groups, a visual impairment makes you very vulnerable. This project covers the geographical area of Scarborough, Whitby and Filey.

  • South Tyneside Homes - Environmental Energy Officer

    Evidence suggests that households in South Tyneside (14.7%) that are fuel poor is lower than the figure for the North East (14.8%) but higher than the proportion for England (13.4%), with the current cost of living crisis and hike in energy bills it is anticipated that this is only likely to worsen in South Tyneside. Sustainability is becoming an increasing key focus. South Tyneside Council are committed to ensuring they reduce carbon emissions throughout the Borough of South Tyneside. Research indicates that housing equates to one of the biggest producers of carbon and it is our aim through South Tyneside Council housing stock to reduce those emissions (net zero target) and in turn creating affordable homes and sustainable communities. South Tyneside Homes in support of South Tyneside Council is looking to bring down the carbon produced by its social housing. This project will cover all areas within the borough of South Tyneside.

  • South Tees NHS Foundation Trust - Maternity digital inclusion and equity project

    The South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Maternity Transformation Programme was set up with nine work streams aiming to make wider ranging improvements to maternity services following the Better Births review, and it is an important part of the NHS Long Term plan which recommends, “by 2023/ 2024, all women will be able to access their maternity notes and information through their smart phones or other devices”. Digital underpins better and faster coordination of care, which means service users receive the most appropriate individualised care. With this in mind, they aimed to implement a maternity electronic patient record whereby women can access their documentation on an app, this would replace the handheld notes. When commencing this digital journey, it was important to identify barriers that they may face as a Trust to overcome them. One of the most challenging barriers. was digital exclusion; “what about the women that don’t have a smart phone or access to the internet?” There is a high percentage of deprivation in the catchment area of South Tees with extremely limited resources available to this group of women. The council/ government do not offer any support to enable women to access devices or data. It is not acceptable that women would be left with inadequate access to their health records simply because they did not have the resources to do so. Digital exclusion is inextricably linked to wider inequalities in society, meaning that those in the most deprived areas are much more likely to experience digital poverty. The project will take place across the catchment area of South Tees NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Skills 4 Work Gateshead –A trusted source of information and practical support

    Young people with multiple disabilities are often not included in key information as many organisation feel it is information that is not necessary to them until a crisis situation. Skills 4 work believe in a proactive approach and to provide information for now or the near future of their lives. All the young people they work with have aspirations to have their own property in the future and equip them with the required work and life skills to make this a reality and not a dream. They understand that many of their families lead complex home lives and therefore try to support key message in a supportive, relaxed way whilst still cascading correct information. Many of the families live in some of the most deprived parts of Gateshead which can be the hardest to engage in topics related to energy saving, safety measures and many will be left behind in knowledge of these topics. This project covers the geographical area of Gateshead.

  • Noah’s Ark –Breaking the Food Poverty Cycle. Building emotional and financial resilience

    There is a nationwide agenda to tackle the problems associated with fuel and food poverty. The cost of living crisis is fuelling a huge surge in the number of people turning to charities to feed themselves and, in many cases, their children. Around 85 percent of Britons have noticed an increase in the price of groceries, and over 3,000 people in Calderdale are reliant on monthly food support. Unfortunately, not enough is being done to tackle this crisis. The problems being addressed by this project include: • Food Poverty • Financial hardship, debt and low financial resilience • Poor financial capability (budgeting) • Mental health and low emotional resilience • Unemployment • Carbon monoxide awareness. The project will take place in the geographical area of Calderdale.

  • Middlesbrough Environment City –Heating on Prescription

    Lung conditions are estimated to cost society around £9.9 billion each year. Respiratory disease affects one in five people in England and is the third biggest cause of death. Hospital admissions for lung disease have risen over the past seven years at three times the rate of all admissions generally and remain a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS. Incidence and mortality rates for those with respiratory disease are higher in disadvantaged groups and areas of social deprivation, where there is often higher smoking incidence, exposure to higher levels of air pollution, poor housing conditions and exposure to occupational hazards. The local authorities in the Tees Valley area are some of the most deprived in England. All five are within the top 25% most deprived. There are also higher levels of disease prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in the Tees Valley, with many people still undiagnosed. Emergency hospital admissions for a range of respiratory conditions are higher than the national average for areas in the Tees Valley. The rate of admissions for COPD, particularly in the South Tees area is significantly higher than the England average. Admissions for asthma in adults are particularly high in Hartlepool and Stockton-On-Tees with the 5th highest rate nationally. Admissions for pneumonia and respiratory diseases are also significantly higher. The under 75 mortality rates from respiratory disease is worse than the England average across all locality areas. This project will cover the geographical area of Tees Valley which includes Middlesbrough, Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool

  • Lake District Foundation - Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Environmental Impact Awareness in Cumbria Campaign

    There has been a significant number of new users attending the park who may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and be respectful of the Countryside Code. There has also been an increase in people camping, using camper vans, motor homes and motorboats for the first time. It is expected these new patterns of visitor access to the Lake District will continue over the coming years. This is especially important this year due to the number of staycation holidays. This project will cover the geographical area of Northern Cumbria.

  • Highfield Co-op – Visually Impairment Energy Project Extension

    There are approximately a million visually impaired people in the UK. Academic social initiator mapping research commissioned by NGN, indicates that there are approximately 38,000 people in the NGN area, who are registered as blind or visually impaired. Bradford is one of the highest areas with this physical impairment at 3,380. Preliminary research suggests that their energy advice needs have been entirely overlooked. While some energy resources could be requested in accessible formats (such as large print), these options were not produced as standard and only related to a proportion of the full range of material. As a result, a significant subsection of the population may have been missing out on energy efficiency opportunities, especially those living in fuel poverty. This project is aimed at supporting visually impaired people within the Craven and Keighley district, who face fuel poverty, lack of information on the Priority Service Register (PSR) and carbon monoxide (CO) awareness. This project will cover the geographical area of Keighley, Airedale and the Craven areas of Bradford.

  • Highfield Co-op – Community STEM Events extension

    There are vulnerable communities such as refugees, low income families, elderly and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities within the Bradford District who are not represented within STEM jobs and have a low intake of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses at college and university. The project is aimed at inspiring vulnerable communities to learn about the benefits of STEM courses. This project is being supported as our social indicator mapping research has indicated that there are 9,646 people unemployed in the Bradford area and 13,455 claiming benefits in this area. This research suggests the NGN area has a higher proportion of both unemployment and benefit claimants than nationally and places with pronounced concentrations on both measures include Bradford. This project will cover the geographical area of Bradford and Keighley.

  • Highfield Co-op - Community Energy and Carbon Monoxide Awareness project extension

    There are vulnerable communities within the Bradford district who may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, such as refugees, low income families, elderly and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Many refugees arriving in the United Kingdom face multiple health challenges. Some refugees’ health issues result from experiences in their home countries; others may develop once they arrive. Because refugees generally live in low-income housing, one concern can be the impact on health (physical and mental) from living in poor housing (cold/damp homes) which can increase the risk of fuel poverty. Even when living in safe housing however, refugees who lack experience with western-style homes and are from different cultural backgrounds, may be at greater risk than native residents. In addition, limited English and literacy skills may prevent some refugee families from learning how to safely use and maintain their new homes. This has the potential to lead to the risk of CO poisoning from appliances, if the families are unsure of how to safely maintain these and may be unaware of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning. There is a big gap in knowledge within these different cultures, especially around heating and cooking, in terms of CO awareness. This project will cover the geographical area of Bradford.

  • Groundwork’s Energy Management Services(GEMS)-Extension

    The problem the project will solve is to tackle climate change/thermal energy-efficiency/high energy costs and energy management to net zero. Whilst supporting vulnerable customers better, as a consequence of thermal comfort in the buildings they use. The project is brand new and will be based initially in Leeds and Bradford. This project is being supported as people need to be made aware of fuel poverty, energy efficiency and thermal energy in our network. Social indicator mapping research has indicated that there are 12,835 excess winter deaths in the NGN area, of which Leeds is at 19.8%, 13% being in fuel poverty and Bradford is at 17.9%, 14% being in fuel poverty. This part of the network also has higher rates of unemployment and benefit claimants than nationally, which means deprivation and poverty are key social indicators. The project will cover all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Groundwork - Green Doctor - Fuel Poverty Training Extension

    The problem the project will solve is to tackle fuel poverty and the lack of knowledge around fuel poverty. Training will be given to frontline key workers to help deliver the key messages and support people in or at risk of falling into fuel poverty. The project is being supported as we need to make people aware of fuel poverty in our network as our social indicator mapping research has indicated that our network has higher rates of unemployment and benefit claimants than Nationally. The project will cover all of NGN’s geographical area and National when hosted online.

  • DIAL Leeds - Energy Confident Extension

    Access to many individual case work services are becoming increasingly difficult and this has been compounded by the pandemic. Especially for those living with physical disadvantage, who may also be shielding. As a consequence of the pandemic there is a gap in user-friendly peer support for individuals and households experiencing fuel poverty, health and personal safety risks. Other vulnerabilities linked to disability and long-term health conditions, create further problems for this group. There are barriers in their ability to access, understand or act on information / advice through mainstream channels. This project with DIAL Leeds will go someway to addressing that problem. This project will cover the geographical area of Leeds and immediate surrounding areas.

  • Content Soup – Comms PSR, CO and Energy Efficiency campaigns

    Although NGN is in constant communication with customers via a range of different channels, we know some of our audience remain hard to reach, in particular those customers living in vulnerable situations. NGN knows that more can be done to educate, proactively engage and support customers in vulnerable situations and help them to better access our services. Content Soup, an integrated communications agency specialising in PR and strategic campaigns, will be appointed to deliver this campaign and address this challenge. Content Soup have experience of working on campaigns to reach hard to reach groups. They are also a local supplier based in the region that we serve, which provides added value as they have experience of working in our target geographical areas. The project will cover all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) – Slow cooker road show extension

    Northumberland is one of the most sparsely populated counties in England with just 63 people per square kilometre. 40.7% of Northumberland’s population – 151,885 people live in rural areas (defined as small towns & fringes, villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings). Of these more than 20% are over the age of 65, 15,075 people report themselves as having a limiting long-term illness and 17,550 people are income deprived. There is a nationwide agenda to tackle the problems associated with fuel poverty, but rural isolation presents a significant barrier to reaching many of those most in need. This Rural Kitchen Project seeks to overcome this barrier. Community Action Northumberland (CAN) has a long history of working with rural communities and has a strong network of links with community anchors such as parish councils and village halls. This project will cover the geographical area of Northumberland. This project will cover the geographical area of Northumberland. Paragraph locked by Katie Wynd

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) – Foodbanks – Extension

    Community Action Northumberland (CAN) has a long history of working with rural communities and has a strong network of links, including existing foodbanks. CAN are currently working with two food banks, providing slow cooker recipe cards along with the food needed to cook the recipe and the slow cooker. CAN would like to extend this support to four other food banks in rural Northumberland, as well as an unemployment hub. Promotion of CO awareness and access to the PSR, will also be undertaken at each foodbank and unemployment hub. CAN will be working alongside Northumberland food banks and local unemployment hubs to deliver this project. This project will cover the geographical area of Northumberland.

  • Cleveland Fire and Rescue – Stay Safe and Warm

    This project will address the issue of lack of awareness around knowing the signs of CO poisoning and what to do in that situation. New legislation places a responsibility on landlords to ensure their properties have working CO alarms, but many have not acted upon this legislation yet. Cleveland Fire and Rescue will identify households without CO alarms, rectify the issue as a priority, then refer landlords to housing local authority teams where appropriate to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and fulfil them in any remaining properties they are responsible for. This project will cover the geographical area of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland.

  • Centre for Warmth –Windhill Centre

    Windhill in Bradford is one of the 5% most deprived areas within the UK, it has a high crime rate, high obesity rate, high level of unemployment, high percentage of people renting poor quality housing many without gardens, most families rely on public transport or walking to access services. Windhill is lucky to have many amenities and local areas of green space to play in, but often families have low enthusiasm in accessing the resources we have. Windhill Centre are a very busy community centre with a footfall of around 300-350 individual people per week (at least 15,000 per year). They offer a range of activities to suite the people, of all ages and abilities who attend and are in need. The current staff team have noticed a backlog with more and more families in crisis coming through the door, with reducing availability for funding. The current needs of families vary from being cold at home, not enough food for the family especially during holiday periods, increased social isolation due to limited funds impacting their access to not just enriching experiences but basic essential services. Poor housing conditions including damp, non-repairs and overcrowding, limited access to reliable white goods and increased energy bills have impacted individuals access to quality meals, hot water for bathing and clean clothing. These factors also impact families in crisis in other areas such as digital poverty and educational deprivation with little or no access to wifi/internet at home and very little engagement with after school and outside activities, often secondary school work is done through online resources laptops/smart phones required adding to monthly costs in the household. Many families have since suffered with mental health, the feeling of not being good enough, embarrassed to ask for help, not being able to provide the same happy time they had growing up, for their own children. There are adults living alone eating ready meals instead of knowing how to cook a healthy meal. This project will cover the geographical area of Bradford.

  • Centre for Warmth –Redcar Baptist Church

    Redcar is a medium sized coastal town in the North East of England. Of its 6 wards, Redcar has 4 that sit within the bottom decile on the government’s indexes for multiple deprivation map. The needs in the town are complex and wide ranging, this combined with the limited resources and few charitable organisations operating in the town mean there is a huge gap to fill in relation to support requirements. Headline data relating to the makeup of our town include it having: • One of the fastest aging populations, with young people growing up and moving out of the town to find work opportunities that simply don’t exist locally. • One of the highest rates for suicide in the country per head of population. • Up until 2020 there was very little in the way of ethnic diversity since that time Redcar has been earmarked as a location for housing those seeking asylum and refuge in the UK. The town has been utterly unprepared for this and so those asylum seekers and refugees coming to Redcar from often traumatic situations, have been relatively unsupported. • Research carried out for the ‘End Child Poverty Coalition’ in 2021 shows that the North-East has had the steepest increase in child poverty in the UK with 40% of children in Redcar and Cleveland classed as ‘growing up poor’. Being a small town with such a breadth of poverty presents its own unique challenges. The overall population is relatively low compared to a larger town or city, but the same diverse features of poverty exist there too. This has resulted in a town with a large range of unaddressed complex needs living side by side with few agencies meeting those needs. This project will cover the geographical area of Redcar.

  • Centre for Warmth –Khidmat Centre

    The most recent edition of the English Indices of Deprivation published in 2019, which also includes the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019, cites Bradford District as being ranked the 5th most income deprived and 6th most employment deprived local authority. Within this 22% of children are below the poverty line and 15% of the District’s household are in fuel poverty. In our estimation, these figures will have significantly worsened since 2019, during and post covid, this is corroborated by Bradford Council’s poverty strategy which states 20% of families are in food and fuel poverty (Strategy launched in 2022). Furthermore, the Council have also identified that Bradford has the 3rd highest percentage of children living in relative poverty and 2nd highest in absolute poverty in England, when judged before housing costs are taken into account. The majority of Khidmat Centre service users fall into the above brackets of low income, acute poverty of food and fuel, there are also a number of women prison leavers experiencing homelessness. Their situations are further compounded by low literacy levels, particularly amongst first and second generation ‘BAME’ communities, lack of awareness of services, difficulty navigating required help and support, low confidence, low self-esteem and a deficit of trust. There is also a cultural sense of pride from centre users, in not asking for help which further exacerbates their situation. Centre users have very little understanding of issues to do with fuel-efficiency and safety and certainly do not understand issues around carbon monoxide and its dangers. Due to language barriers and lack of confidence many are unable to price check or get the best value for money. There are also significant ‘new and emerging’ communities of Eastern European descent and refugees from various countries around the world. Once again, these communities have real challenges with the English language but also are not able to access timely help and support. This project will cover the geographical area of Bradford.

  • Centre for Warmth –Hope Foundation

    Middlesbrough is one of England's most deprived and lowest skilled communities. Half the local government wards are in the 10% most deprived nationally with unemployment twice the national average and 40% of young people do not have a GCSE equivalent qualification in maths or English. Many people in the community face a lifetime of low skills, unemployment and poverty. Food, digital and fuel poverty is the norm for many people and families report having to choose to heat or eat. In Middlesbrough 48.7% of children live below the poverty line. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation study UK Poverty 2023 shows that around 6 in ten people on average are heating their home less since the cost of living crisis started. Half are reducing the number of showers they take. People in work locally are generally in lower paid jobs making it more difficult to make ends meet. Recent power cuts caused by the weather led to some anecdotal evidence locally of the most vulnerable not having access to services quickly, despite their disabilities, as they did not know they needed to be PSR registered. Current work with Christians Against Poverty, warm space and the benefits advice service indicates that there is a real need for focussed support around fuel poverty and how people can save money alongside having access to the benefits they should be receiving. There is a need to educate and supply information to help residents make better choices around their energy use. To have the right benefits to be able to meet their outgoings. Registrations on the PSR will ensure vulnerable people have the right support and access when emergencies occur. This project covers the geographical area of Middlesbrough.

  • Centre for Warmth – Chestnut Centre

    The town of Huddersfield is located within Kirklees and has several wards and neighbourhoods that experience high levels of deprivation and poverty. Local Services 2 You Ltd (LS2Y) work with individuals in the areas of Huddersfield that are in the worst 10% nationally on the Index of Multiple Deprivation and have high levels of poverty, including child poverty and fuel poverty. LS2Y’s Chestnut Centre is actually located in an area which is in the worst 2% in the country for income deprivation and being able to afford essentials such as food and fuel is a huge issue for many residents there. Those experiencing financial crisis or living in poverty are more likely to be experiencing fuel poverty and less likely to maintain gas appliances or be able to afford safety devices and so are more at risk of harm from Carbon Monoxide. The Chestnut Centre come into contact with a wide range of individuals and households where there is a very low level of awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide or support and services available such as the Priority Service Register. This project covers the geographical area of Kirklees.

  • Centre for Warmth – Bilton Hall

    Bilton Hall Centre is located in Jarrow in South Tyneside. It is one of the UK's most disadvantaged areas (43.6% of South Tyneside in multiple deprivation vs. national average 20.04%). Bilton Hall Community Trust serves a diverse population facing life-limiting health issues, unemployment, low income or a combinations of all these. Recent consultation results highlighted communication gaps between South Tyneside service providers and the community, leading to residents' limited awareness of available support. Furthermore, the lack of accessible, one-on-one support outside of town centres and council facilities creates a barrier for those needing help the most. Currently food and fuel poverty affect not just the unemployed, but also working individuals struggling to make ends meet. Overstretched services like CAB and welfare teams leave a gap that community facilities like theirs are having to fill. This project covers the geographical area of South Tyneside area.

  • CA Northumberland -A holistic approach to energy, debt and welfare advice to address the cost of living crisis

    Northumberland is a vast area in the north east of England and County-wide statistics can mask the extreme deprivation experienced in the poorest urban and rural settlements there. However notwithstanding this anomaly, the data in the June 2022 report, Research on Vulnerable Customer Groups for Northern Gas Networks supports the view that the County has a strong claim on additional resources to combat the effects of fuel poverty on its vulnerable households. Using the report’s classification of vulnerability as: • Rural (e.g. due to isolation and lack of accessible services) • Mental Health and Wellbeing (including factors such as depression, dementia and learning disabilities) • Physical Health (e.g. impairment of vision or hearing or other limiting health conditions) • Financial (e.g. low pay or unemployment) • Other (e.g. homelessness or language difficulties) This project covers the geographical area of the Northumberland area.

  • Northern Cancer Voices –Teeside Pilot

    One in 2 people will be impacted by a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime and being able to cope with such a diagnosis whilst maintaining their health and wellbeing will be difficult. Cancer is a genetic disease mostly caused by damage to genes caused by smoking, alcohol, obesity, and sunlight. There are circa 860 patients in treatment at the moment in the North East, and this is expected to grow. Cancer patients are vulnerable as the diagnosis of cancer is an extremely stressful time for the patient and their family. Their life is turned upside down and they may lose all their financial support overnight. Numerous practical difficulties immediately present themselves and a stressed patient is likely to have a worse outcome. The cancer targets set by NHS and the National Cancer teams are very specific and limited. They are totally dependent on the public at large to come forward for screening, identifying signs of cancer early and to visit a GP. It is also important that those in hardship and receiving a cancer diagnosis have the tools and equipment necessary to maintain any equipment they may have and keeping themselves warm at home is critical. This project covers the geographical area of the Teeside area.

  • Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University (HEY CU) Reading Van – bringing reading to the community

    The problem the project will solve: Letter Box Coordinators from HEY CU deliver one to one reading sessions to children in care*(CIC) in schools. Often schools don’t have a suitable space for them to work in and they find themselves in hallways, or shared spaces where there are lots of distractions and noise. This issue is especially prevalent in rural schools in the area, which are overcrowded and small. This impacts the effectiveness of the sessions, slowing down the children’s progress. Children in care are the most vulnerable group of children in society. Without interventions like the Letter Box Club CIC children’s long-term life outcomes are very poor, with many of them entering the criminal justice system or ending up unemployed. A high proportion of adults from care backgrounds have mental health issues. With programmes like this we are able to tackle this problem. Ensuring that children in care fulfil their potential and have positive futures. This project will cover East Riding of Yorkshire and Kingston Upon Hull geographical areas.

  • Fuel Bank Foundation –Further expand Fuel Bank across Northern England

    The Fuel Bank Foundation (FBF) is an independent charity that aims to support families who pay in advance for energy, typically via a prepayment energy meter and are at risk of self-disconnection or severe rationing or indeed have self-disconnected. Self-disconnection is an unfortunate term: people don’t choose to self-disconnect, when the money runs out the electricity and gas switch off too. And in the current climate we are seeing more people than ever turn to the Foundation for much-needed support. Across the UK there are approximately 4m households who prepay for energy and increasing levels of fuel poverty in all four nations, with 29% of households in England currently defined as being in fuel poverty. FBF insight highlights that a material number of households in fuel poverty who have a prepayment meter often struggle to maintain regular top ups, especially during the peak winter heating season, and as a result ration energy, skip other essentials such as hot food or daily showering, or worst, have periods living without energy. We currently estimate that approximately 1.2m households in GB with a prepayment meter are therefore at risk. The FBF has delivered support since 2015, however their network of partners significantly increased from 2022, with support from Northern Gas Networks via the VCMA Programme enabling the charity to expand to meet some of the increased demand we saw following the COVID pandemic, and then the cost-of-living crisis. This funding removed some of the barriers to expansion where previously their network shape and the support we could provide was constrained by the funding we had available. The project will cover all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • South Tees - Maternity Enhanced Maternity Care for vulnerable families project

    The South Tees NHS Trust provides maternity services to women and families from across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. These areas are some of the most deprived in the country with Middlesbrough being in the top 5 most deprived areas of the UK year on year and 40% of its wards are in the top 3% most deprived nationally. Their communities experience many of the issues associated with deprivation such as high unemployment, poor population health, high levels of substance addictions, high rates of crime including domestic violence, high numbers of children in care and a significant number of children living in poverty. Both Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland have seen an increase in the number of children living in poverty at well above the national average, with Middlesbrough having the highest numbers of children living in poverty nationally. It is well documented that women living in areas with higher rates of socioeconomic deprivation are at an increased risk of serious illness and mortality during their pregnancy and their babies are over 50% more likely to die during pregnancy or shortly after birth. The impact of these inequalities continues throughout childhood, with children from the most deprived areas being more at risk from poor physical health, poor educational outcomes and mental health problems which often impact throughout their life, in turn affecting their own parenting abilities and resulting in a cycle of entrenched poor health and educational attainment. The local wards with the highest rates of deprivation are also the most ethnically diverse, with some areas having 50-60% of residents from minority ethnic groups6. The Northeast of England is home to more asylum seekers per 1000 resident population than anywhere else in the UK. The South Tees area has 4 large mother and baby accommodation units, where single women who are pregnant and/or have a child under 5 live. One of the key findings from the national enquiry into maternal deaths is the racial disparities that exist and have remained largely unchanged for over a decade. The Core20Plus5 NHS England approach to support the reduction of health inequalities has identified pregnant women from ethnic minority groups as a target population. The project will take place across the catchment area of South Tees NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) Heating for Health extension

    There are 26,581 households in North Yorkshire in fuel poverty, where people are struggling to keep warm at an affordable cost. 11.7% of these fuel poor households include someone who has a long-term health condition or disability, many of which can be made worse by living in a cold home. For example, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, respiratory illness and circulatory problems are all exacerbated by being cold. Fuel poverty can also have a significant detrimental effect on the mental health of adults and young people, and on infants’ weight gain, hospital admission rates and developmental status. Cold homes and associated issues around damp and condensation, inadequately maintained heating systems and challenges paying energy bills, can also cause new health problems. It is vital that we tackle these issues to avoid further negative health impacts amongst vulnerable groups. The project will take place in the geographical area covered by North Yorkshire County Council.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) Community Energy Ambassadors

    Many schemes exist that can support vulnerable households with their energy bills and with being warm, well and safe at home. However, there are numerous barriers to: • Getting information on these schemes to the people who would most benefit • Motivating and enabling those individuals to then take-up the help available and in doing so, apply for grants, switch supplier, access energy efficiency improvements and sign up to the PSR. One of the biggest barriers is distrust and apprehension around any support available that is to do with energy. This may have arisen through experiences of companies cold calling about switching energy supplier or ‘free’ boilers, hearing news of energy companies going bust, and being continually warned to be aware of potential scams. As a result, many people stick with what they know, whether it be a cold home or high energy costs, purely for peace of mind, no hassle and no worries. This means that vulnerable households are potentially missing out on ways to a) reduce their worries around energy bills and b) be warmer, safer and more comfortable at home. The project will cover all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Northern Gas Networks – Vulnerability Economic Evaluation Analyst

    A dedicated role is required to implement best-practice economic evaluation methodologies, models, and metrics to support investment decision-making, and to quantify the value impact of NGN’s Customers in Vulnerable Situations Strategy, VCMA Strategy and associated commitments for GD2, by carrying out CBA’s and SROI’s for projects funded through the Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance. The role will also oversee the SROI of new VCMA projects being introduced over the coming years, continuing to the end of GD2 ie 31st March 2026. The role will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with the Vulnerability Team. The role may also involve speaking with social partners such as charities, community groups and those working at grass roots level, who deal with hard-to-reach communities, to ensure that project scopes and SROI’s are correct. The role will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. There is a requirement for a dedicated, single point of contact to work closely with the vulnerability team for all project CBA’s and SROI’s until the end of GD2. This role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Northern Gas Networks – Services Beyond The Meter Technical Network Leads

    2 dedicated roles are required to support the delivery of Services Beyond The Meter (SBTM) VCMA project withing NGN’s geographical footprint. The aim of these roles will be to support the delivery of NGN’s Customers in Vulnerable Situations Strategy, VCMA Strategy and associated commitments for GD2. The roles will embed new processes relating to our GD2 commitments of never leaving a customer vulnerable, following an NGN visit. They will primarily deliver on projects where NGN upskill and utilise our direct labour employees, to undertake work on appliances and downstream installations. The roles will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. These roles covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Northern Gas Networks – Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Project Coordinator 2023

    A dedicated role is required to support the general project coordination, management, and administration of Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA) funded projects. The allowance is new for GD2 and therefore a specific role is required to coordinate the Northern Gas Networks’ (NGN) projects and GDN collaborative projects. The role will also oversee new projects being introduced over the coming years, continuing to the end of GD2 ie 31st March 2026. The role will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with partners such as charities, community groups and those working at grass roots level, who deal with hard-to-reach communities, to ensure that projects and budgets are managed from initial concept to completion. The role will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. There is a requirement for a dedicated, single point of contact to work closely with all project partners and other GDN’s for collaborative VCMA projects. It will also address the need for a coordinator to input into the annual showcase event. This role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Northern Gas Networks – Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Business Partnerships and Relationships Officer

    A dedicated role is required to support the delivery of NGN’s Customers in Vulnerable Situations Strategy, VCMA Strategy and associated commitments for GD2, by managing projects funded through the Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance. The Business Partnerships and Relationship Officer will report directly into the Social Strategy Programme Manager. Close liaison with the Vulnerability Innovation Lead will also be required, in relation to some Innovation activities such as Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness Strategy and new projects. The role will also oversee new projects being introduced over the coming years, continuing to the end of GD2 ie 31st March 2026. The role will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with partners such as charities, community groups and those working at grass roots level, who deal with hard-to-reach communities, to ensure that projects and budgets are managed from initial concept to completion. The role will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. There is a requirement for a dedicated, single point of contact to work closely with all project partners and other GDN’s for collaborative VCMA projects. This role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • GDN Collaborative project - Parsley Box

    Parsley Box deliver easy to store microwave meals across the UK with a primary customer base of over 65’s and have a high repeat customer base. This project will create and deliver a leaflet to be inserted in Parsley Box deliveries over a 3-month period with a different focus each month ranging from the PSR, to CO awareness and energy efficiency advice. This project covers all of the UK

  • The Carents Room Collaborative GDN - extension

    The project has been extended to the 31st March 2024, plus the provision of additional funding for (a) additional marketing resources and (b) additional personnel within the Strata Nostra team. These changes will assist Strata Nostra in achieving their current project KPI’s The additional costs include the cost of printing and distributing branded pharmacy bags to 1,000 pharmacies (2,000,000 bags) over an 8 week period. There will also be 7,000 GP packs to 6,500 GP surgeries in England, this includes every GP surgery in England.

  • GDN Collaborative project - Egnida - Raising CO Awareness using Augmented Reality

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) can pose a serious threat to human health and even fatality, with around 30 - 40 deaths caused by CO poisoning each year in the UK and 4,000 people treated in hospital as a result of CO poisoning. Lack of awareness of the risks of CO and ways in which to prevent CO harm are major contributing factors to the current number of CO-related deaths and injuries, with safety devices such as CO alarms available as a relatively low-cost item and widely accessible. This project aims to increase levels of carbon monoxide awareness within the university student population by creating a targeted campaign which is entertaining enough to compete for young people’s attention and also incentivises them to engage with CO awareness training in the first place. We will produce coasters which are placed on the tables in the coffee shops which, when viewed through a smart device create augmented reality interactive animations. The animations will show the user the causes, dangers, affects and mitigations of carbon monoxide poisoning. The project will take place within 4 universities, one within each GDN location

  • Hope 4 U - NHS Support Service

    At a time, which should be filled with great excitement, can also bring enormous expense and stress to an individual or family. Finding out that you are expecting, if planned or unexpected, can bring a mix of emotions, happiness, excitement, fear, stress, and anxiety. The average cost of a baby in the first month is likely to be in the region of £500, which does not include items such as crib, furniture, a pram, and a car seat. A survey conducted by Child Poverty Action Group revealed that 64% of people were not prepared for the costs involved. By delivering a service in conjunction with the NHS gives an ideal opportunity to gather and give out information. At the expected mothers first appointment, information and consent will be gathered for a direct referral to be made through to Hope 4U using the NHS.net secure system. The overall service aim is to make homes warm, safe. Not everyone will access the Hope 4U service, but it is anticipated that approximately 360 families over the year will initially take up the service. This figure may rise when the project is established by expanding out to further maternity departments. The project will include the essential service of safety with Carbon Monoxide and energy efficiency, keeping warm and well for the baby and the mother. This project covers the geographical area of Airedale and Bradford

  • SROI - IAT Tool

    At present, two disparate methods are employed by NGN to assess the various impacts of innovation projects on customers. These are (i) the Impact Assessment Tool (IAT) and (ii) Social Return on Investment (SROI). The IAT was developed by Sirio (please refer to Section 6.0 for more information on this project partner) for the use of all energy networks in the UK. It is employed to assess the potential impacts of innovation projects on customers in situations of vulnerability. As a result of answering a set of questions, users have a score generated for the project they are assessing, in addition Following the development of the IAT, NGN wishes to merge it with their SROI framework into a single tool. This will create an ‘all in one’ solution to aid in understanding the impacts of NGN’s projects on their customers. Both tools are currently used separately in the project set-up process at NGN. Merging the two of them will streamline this process, while providing the highest available level of transparency with respect to the impacts of any given project on NGN’s customers. This transparency will aid in guiding the decision process within the company, including whether to implement, scale up or down projects based on the qualitative and quantitative impacts on the customer base. The project covers the geographical area of NGN.

  • VCMA annual reports

    The VCMA allowance is new in GD2, it has been designed to enable the delivery of the gas networks social Business Plan commitments that safeguard vulnerable customers and increases CO awareness in the respective network areas. The VCMA presentation was also used within the annual showcase. The VCMA annual reports and showcase event are a requirement set by Ofgem as part of the VCMA criteria. Using VCMA funding, we have appointed an external design company to produce a final version of both the NGN VCMA annual report and the GDN collaborative VCMA report. The funding will see the annual VCMA reports and showcase presentation designed and ready to present to Ofgem and our stakeholders. To provide a dedicated service in assisting the delivery of the VCMA annual report and the presentations. • Delivering a cohesive portfolio of initiatives built upon the principles of collaboration, inclusion and innovation that deliver the strategic ambitions of NGN and the collective ambitions of the GDN’s • To work closely with the NGN to help review / amend the report content The project covers the geographical area of NGN.

  • Age UK North Tyneside - Information and Advice Role (VCMA)

    This project will offer information and advice to over 6,000 customers across the region each year through Age UK North Tyneside’s information and advice team who help to maximise income and reduce outgoings, as well as ensuring our customers are living in a safe, healthy environment. The project will be available to all North Tyneside residents over the age of 50 who require help and support with income and the cost of living. This will help to address social isolation and loneliness through referrals into the wellbeing centres and social activity events. The project aims to see 250 customers (minimum) per month, where they take the opportunity to have guided conversations to establish their needs and offer help and support to get customers over the poverty line, live healthy lives, in a safe and warm home. Age UK North Tyneside aim to re-claim over £1 million in unclaimed benefits for their customers. They will ensure customers come out of hospital into a safe, warm home, so they do not return to a hospital bed, reducing the demand on the NHS. Age UK North Tyneside will signpost and refer into organisations that they partner with to assist customers to get what they need, such as home adaptions and improvements to provide a better quality of life. The project covers the geographical area of North Tyneside.

  • Cadent and NGN One Number Programme 2023-2025 (VCMA)

    The Cadent and NGN Collaborative One Number Programme 2023 - 2025 project builds on a company specific pilot delivered on Cadent's networks between April 2021 and December 2022. This collaborative project uses the same model and learning from the Cadent pilot to deliver support to customers in vulnerable situations living in the Eastern, North London, North West, West Midlands, and NGN networks. The project will commence in January 2023 and will run for a period of two years until January 2025. The collaborative project will be delivered by two providers - Groundwork UK (Groundwork) and National Energy Action (NEA). The two providers will operate a network split model, with Groundwork delivering the service to North West, West Midlands, and NGN customers, whilst NEA will provide support to Eastern and North London customers. Customers' needs and eligibility will first be assessed by Groundwork and NEA, before the customer is triaged and then provided with the following services (based on customer need and eligibility): • In-home energy efficiency advice (e.g. supporting customers to tackle condensation/damp and use their appliances more efficiently etc.) • Assisting customers to access industry funding (e.g. Warm Homes Discount and Energy Company Obligation) • Helping customers to maximise their household income (e.g. benefit entitlement checks, claims support, and the management/clearing of energy debt) • Servicing of essential gas appliances • Repair/replacement of essential gas appliances and pipework

  • The Carents Room GDN Collaborative VCMA Project

    There is a nationwide agenda to tackle the problems associated with children that care for their elderly parents (Carents) that need support. Ageing and caring in the UK can often be isolating and challenging, compounded by a lack of recognition and a shortage of suitable information, services, products, and experiences which could make life easier for busy Carents and their ageing parents. “The Carents Room” project aims to reach 1 million potential Carents in the UK, this ambition agreed between Cadent and NGN in October 2021. There are currently an estimated 5 million Carents nationally. They are the largest group of unpaid carers and growing rapidly in the face of our ageing population and due to the pandemic. The Carents Room will be in the form of an interactive, online website for Carents to access anywhere in the UK and receive instant online support. The project will involve creating a sustainable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which will enable the website to grow and evolve once the project has ended. This is a collaborative project with NGN and Cadent.

  • Community Action Northumberland - Heat and Eat

    This winter there will be problems with heating and eating due to the currently energy and cost of living crisis. Through this project Community Action Northumberland (CAN) will deliver training sessions on how best to heat your home using energy saving measures and eating on a budget. This will be done by using the versatility, healthy low cost benefits of a slow cooker. CAN will deliver 12 Heat AND Eat sessions across the county to statutory and third sector organisations, to volunteers and paid staff. They will be highlighting the benefits of the additional support available via PSR and the dangers of CO poisoning linked to keeping warm and trying to save money by not having appliances serviced or chimneys swept. This project will take place in the geographical area of Northumberland.

  • Community Action Northumberland Warm Hubs Coordinator

    Warm hubs have been developed in Northumberland for 7 years, originally as a pilot funded by NGN for setting up 10 hubs, over the years this has been extended to 30. In order to protect the integrity of the scheme a warm hub toolkit has been developed which will give access to the scheme across the country. The role of warm hubs roll-out co-ordinator will see to the smooth running of the scheme whilst being delivered nationwide.

  • DIAL Energy Confident - Pilot Expansion

    This expansion project has been designed, developed and delivered by disabled people, who are representative of project beneficiaries (including foodbank users) in conjunction with the Trussell Trust’s Leeds North and West Foodbank. DIAL Leeds are a Disabled People’s User Led Organisation (DPULO) providing empowering peer support for disabled people in a safe and positive environment, both remotely and face to face. This project will enable DIAL to provide personally tailored customer support and casework, based on individual needs, to resolve any energy related problems and in particular, for those living in fuel poverty. This project will support people with physical and sensory impairments, learning disabilities and / or long-term conditions including mental health issues, to confidently work through their issues and concerns on a one to one basis. This project is based in Leeds

  • Groundwork & Aware Technologies Partnership

    This project will form a partnership between Groundwork Yorkshire’s Green Doctor service & Aware Technologies to target an estimated 400,000 social homes in the West Yorkshire region. This collaboration will bring together fuel poverty, income maximisation, and energy efficiency support, along with the measurement of the improvements in the housing, health and wellbeing of 1100 residents. CO safety will also be addressed through this project. The project will be based in the West Yorkshire region and will last for a period of 15 months (2 winters). The issues being addressed by this project include: • Fuel Poverty reduction • Financial hardship/debt reduction and income maximisation • Mental Health and Wellbeing improvement • Respiratory Health improvement • Energy efficiency improvement in homes • A ‘just transition’ to net zero • Mould and Damp reduction

  • Groundwork - Noah's Ark

    This project will form a partnership between Groundwork Yorkshire’s Green Doctor service & Noah’s Ark. This collaboration will bring together fuel poverty support, income maximisation, mental health support & training. The scope of this project is to deliver 200 Green Doctor fuel poverty interventions & for Noah’s Ark to provide their services for 200 clients. This service will be available to residents across the Calderdale region.

  • Middlesbrough Environment City - Warm Homes Healthy Children (VCMA)

    Middlesbrough Environment City aims to work alongside Yorkshire Energy Doctor to embed knowledge and information around energy advice, the Priority Services Register (PSR), CO, and other sources of support, into the consciousness of all family support services and their communications. This is with the ultimate aim of helping families to better manage their bills and to be safe, warm and well. The overall aim of the project is to help families to be more able to afford to heat their homes and to be safe, warm and well. The project will cover Redcar and Cleveland and be run as a sub-project of Yorkshire Energy Doctor’s ‘Warm Homes Healthy Children’. They will use consistent branding and resources, but this new proposal will focus on direct interactions with families. Any learning will be shared with Yorkshire Energy Doctor.

  • Stockton & District Advice & Information Service (SDAIS) - Energy Max Project Proposal

    Income maximisation through welfare benefits is often the most effective, long lasting, and secure way of increasing household budgets, particularly for vulnerable people or people who cannot work due to poor health or disability Stockton & District Advice & Information Service (SDAIS) propose to tackle this problem by providing a specialist energy and welfare benefit advice and support service that complements and supplements current energy advice services delivered by multiple agencies and VCMA projects across the North of England and Yorkshire. The service will provide specialist welfare benefit advice to a minimum of 308 households per year

  • Community Action Northumberland Warm Hubs (VCMA)

    Warm Hubs’ are places within the local community where people can be assured of finding a safe, warm and friendly environment in which to enjoy refreshments, social activity, Energy information and advice and the company of other people. Where volunteers are trained, and buildings are energy efficient and sustainable. The Warm Hub model has three guiding principles i.e. the aim of the model is to: • Support community buildings • Support volunteers • Support hard to reach customers and / or those who may be living in vulnerable situations This project will allow CAN to open 5 new Warm Hubs’ to support vulnerable customers within Northumberland.

  • GDA Collaborative Think CO App (VCMA)

    Through this project we aim to empower frontline workers from third sector organisations, Fire and Rescue Services, local authorities, Occupational Therapists, private home care and other support services, to identify potential CO risks and provide CO safety information to vulnerable households they support. Helping to increase CO awareness and reduce the risk of CO harm for some of the most at-risk vulnerable customers throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. Our aim is to provide an enduring, convenient, easy-to-access, up-to-date, and simple to use resource, that will provide CO safety information and advice. The Gas Safe Charity will develop a dedicated Think CO App that provides a quick and easy reminder of the sources, signs and symptoms of CO and immediate advice on steps to take if symptoms of CO poisoning or signs of CO exist or are suspected during a home visit. Critically, this App would be in situ, available in real time as the frontline workers are supporting someone vulnerable in their home.

  • GDN Collaborative Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA)

    In 2019 Scope launched their community research panel, which has grown to around 1,600 active members today with direct lived experience of being disabled and/or as parents of disabled children. Working closely with Scope we have co-designed a mixed method three-stage disabled community CO research programme utilising the Scope research panel to ensure we gain robust data and insight that can be used to inform future projects, partnerships, and campaigns. Scope will aim to recruit panel members across England, Scotland and Wales to take part in the research.

  • GDN Collaborative VCMA project - Age UK

    This project brings together the UK’s leading older people’s charities – Age Cymru, Age Scotland and Age UK – to support people in vulnerable situations by providing energy safeguarding services to older people who are in or at risk of fuel poverty. The collaborative partnership will look to ensure that older people are aware of and are assisted to access the Priority Services Register and support services that help increase household income including benefits checks and provide advice on how to increase household energy efficiency and increase awareness on the signs, symptoms and mitigations of carbon monoxide harm. The programmes will be delivered via regional model and learnings between the partners will be shared openly recognising that the three partners will need to co-ordinate within regional support frameworks – all working to a common outcome to help older people maintain a safe and warm home.

  • Collaborative VCMA CO Game Over Project

    The aim of the project is to reach young people, aged 16 – 25 with CO awareness messaging, through the proven route of the Game Over creative campaign, piloted by Wales & West Utilities and run by Heavenly Media. At the same time the project is focusing on maintaining the longevity of the digital media campaign through activation of the successful Student Ambassador campaign aimed at the same age group, piloted by SGN and run by Campus Group. Heavenly and Campus Group will work together to ensure we deliver a coherent campaign in content, look and feel throughout. The Game Over campaign work will be integrated and complementary to student brand ambassador and other on-campus work. The work will involve 2 brand ambassadors in each of 16 Universities with a geographical spread across England, Scotland & Wales, aligned to GDN network coverage. Heavenly will develop the mini-standalone website that can be linked to GDN’s existing websites, to drive young people to for further information, following their engagement via the Game Over digital campaign and student ambassador activities.

  • Warm Hubs Toolkit

    There is a nationwide agenda to tackle the problems associated with fuel poverty, but rural isolation presents a significant barrier to reaching many of those most in need. A Warm Hub Toolkit will be created, which can be used by any organisation, including a Gas Distribution Network (GDN) or Distribution Network Operator (DNO), to ensure that a consistent model, with appropriate rules and governance (to ensure compliance to the model), can be adopted for any locality. The toolkit will ensure that the key principles and building blocks of a Warm Hub are adhered to, in terms of compliance to standards, policies and procedures. The project covers all the NGN network area.

  • GDN Winter Campaign 2021

    The colder months of winter represent added risk and challenge for many customers living in vulnerable situations. An increase in the demand for energy not only increases the cost of energy bills, but also increases the risk of issues being identified with household gas supplies and appliances and increases the risk of incidents relating to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The winter awareness campaign will focus on both these issues, increasing customer knowledge of how to register for the PSR, recognising the symptoms of CO poisoning and the steps and actions they can take to protect themselves from the potential harm of CO. Additionally, we will use the awareness campaign to raise awareness of the National Gas Emergency helpline so that customers are aware of what number to call if they suspect CO. This is a National project, across all GDN footprints

  • GDN Collaborative VCMA Scope Disability Energy Support project

    Disabled people are more likely to face financial vulnerability, fuel poverty, and increased energy costs. They also experience greater challenges in accessing information and support in a way that works for the disabled community. Low-income households spend a substantial share of their income on utility services such as electricity, heating, and water. This is particularly disproportionate in the case of many disabled people, as they consume more energy and water based upon need. Disabled people have less household income and face two times the average unemployment rates, resulting in poverty being 6% higher in the disabled community. The partnership looks to provide a bespoke and dedicated utility advocacy service for disabled people, designed for and marketed to disabled people to let them know that there is help available to support them with their utility and energy needs. This is a nationwide project.

  • CO Alarms

    In the UK, many people using carbon / fossil-fuelled appliances are not aware of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and do not have a working audible CO alarm. NGN commissioned research around CO and the PSR in January 2021. Many of our customers living in vulnerable situations are unable to afford to purchase CO alarms and are often struggling to pay for the basics such as food and affordable warmth, for themselves and their families. This is further impacted due to the current energy and cost of living crises. As a result, these households may also resort to potentially hazardous coping mechanisms, all of which can be detrimental to health and wellbeing. Using VCMA funding, we can purchase a large number of CO alarms, which we will distribute to customers who would otherwise not be able to afford to purchase and install one in their homes. We will send a CO alarm, free of charge, to vulnerable customers who do not have a CO alarm and will also provide our community and charity partners with CO alarms to distribute to their vulnerable customers. These grassroot organisations are the trusted intermediaries who engage with hard-to-reach communities on a daily basis. This project will take place within NGN geographical area.

  • VCMA Customer Team Administration Assistant

    This role is vital to support the continuity of making every contact count (MECC) when NGN personnel interact with a customer. This service is required when a First Call Operative from NGN, disconnects an appliance / isolates a gas supply to a customer’s home when they have been identified as living in vulnerable circumstances. The FCO will signpost the customer to the relevant third party for additional support / appliance repair / replace. A follow up process will then be invoked whereby the admin assistant will contact the customer to close the loop. This follow-up call will be made to ensure the customers understands / has the relevant information to hand about next steps required and whether they require any additional support after their discussion with the engineer and to identify they fully understand any further action that may be required. The admin assistant will also make an attempt to contact family members if the customer does not understand or the customers support worker where relevant. The role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • GDN collaborative PEA for CO School Engagement

    Young people are one of the most at risk groups from CO poisoning and one of the least aware about the dangers of CO. Young people are challenging to engage with outside of educational settings and when armed with knowledge can be key to sharing information on how they can keep themselves and their loved one’s CO safe. Bonanza Creative will expand delivery of both the Safety Seymour (KS1) and CO Crew (KS2) educational programmes, delivering in-depth classroom-based sessions in NGN, SGN and WWU network areas. Through these in-depth classroom-based sessions each young person taking part will be educated on what CO is, where it comes from, the dangers of CO, and how to stay safe. Each young person will receive a CO information leaflet, a Safety Seymour leaflet for KS1 and a CO Crew leaflet for KS2. These will help the young people to take the learning home with them and share with their household, expanding the reach of the learning and awareness. As well as the Safety Seymour and CO Crew classroom-based sessions Bonanza Creative will be delivering assembly sessions with KS1 and KS2 age groups in schools. This project operates across the NGN, SGN and WWU networks.

  • GDN Collaborative VCMA PEA MyBnk Schools Programme

    During 2021 it was estimated that three million English households were living in fuel poverty (Dept for Business, Energy and Business Strategy). It is clear that many young people do not have the essential information, resources or support networks in place to avoid poverty, including fuel poverty. The significant cost of living increases has already started to make an impact on families. Highlighting the importance of small changes to young people means that they will continue through their lives with good energy habits – checking gas cookers are off, switching off lights when not in a room, keeping doors closed to keep the heat in. Simple measures that young children adopt and continue in their lives. Through partnership we can leverage this expertise to deliver material to primary age young people as part of their financial education programme from MyBnk. With a dedicated module specifically focused on energy safety, usage and efficiency a long term and successful partnership with tangible outcomes can be achieved. This project will also engage the dangers of CO and flag key support services including the Priority Services Register (PSR). This project covers the geographical area of England, Scotland and Wales.

  • GDN Collaborative Project - Citizens Advice National - Energy Safeguarding and CO Safety Partnership

    Delivered in partnership with Citizens Advice, and co-funded by the four UK Gas Distribution Networks, this project aims to support vulnerable households with a single point of contact for independent and bespoke support to keep a safe and warm home for less. Working through Citizens Advice’s network of local Energy Advice Partnership Hubs, with the potential to access the full Citizens Advice network where required. Through this partnership the Citizens Advice local Energy Advice Programme teams will work to directly support 17,500 vulnerable people with access to practical advice on the dangers of CO and how to mitigate these, as well as energy advice that improves their financial independence, their health and wellbeing, and increases their confidence to manage their household utility costs.

  • GDN Collaborative Project - Fuel Bank Foundation Fuel Crisis Support

    Gas distribution networks Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales and West Utilities have committed to providing the charity with a combined £500,000 fund over two years to support households in a fuel crisis. The money will be used to provide same day emergency financial support to people struggling to top-up their prepayment gas and/or electricity meters. Fuel Bank Foundation will also provide additional ongoing support to help manage energy costs, working together to support families out of crisis. Fuel Bank Foundation has already provided support to approaching 500,000 people who have been referred by local councils and food banks, advice agencies and charities such as Macmillan and Scope.

  • GDN Collaborative PEA: The Scouts Carbon Monoxide Awareness Badge (The Scouts Association)

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) can pose a serious threat to human health and even fatality, with around 40 deaths caused by CO poisoning each year in the UK and 4,000 people treated in hospital. Lack of awareness about the dangers of and ways in which to prevent harm from CO are a major contributing factor to why we’re still seeing CO related deaths and harm in a time when safety devices such as CO alarms are cheaper and more accessible than ever. Young people are one of the most at risk and least aware groups. The Scouts has approximately 360,000 young members and 140,000 adult volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales, and this collaborative GDN project aims to educate about the dangers of CO through a programme of activities developed for all Scout age ranges. Working in partnership with the Scouts dedicated programme content curators we will develop a programme of branded educational activities focusing on raising awareness of CO poisoning, and how to manage and reduce the risks. These activities will contribute to a different badge within Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers to ensure high engagement.

  • NGN Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Awareness Project Coordinator

    A dedicated role is required to support the general project coordination, management and administration of Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA) funded projects. The role will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with partners such as charities, community groups and those working at grass roots level, who deal with hard-to-reach communities, to ensure that projects and budgets are managed from initial concept to completion. The benefits realised by working closely with partners, will include demonstrating good practice in areas such as supporting the delivery of affordable warmth solutions for low income households and customers living in vulnerable situations. Energy efficiency and fuel poverty support, financial support, raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and Priority Services Register (PSR) will all be themes that run through this support role. The role will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. There is a requirement for a dedicated, single point of contact to work closely with all project partners and other GDN’s for collaborative VCMA projects. The role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Identifying and Protecting Pregnant Women from CO Exposure

    Although guidance exists for addressing CO in pregnancy caused by smoking, there is no official protocol for investigating elevated CO amongst pregnant women caused by other means. This problem is compounded by midwives’ own concerns that they and their colleagues are not adequately trained to address non-smoking causes of elevated CO in pregnancy. This project aims to bring together information on expired CO levels in women recruited into the study, with information collected on exposure in their home. Recruitment into the study will trigger a Home Safety Visit with an additional aspect on CO, conducted by the local Fire and Rescue Service, and a two-week period of CO monitoring using a CO alarm, data loggers and CO breathalysers in the participant’s home. Recruitment and testing will take place during autumn and winter when potential exposure is greatest. By monitoring indoor CO levels, the scale of the problem due to elements within the home will be identified. To date, no study to assess environmental exposure of pregnant women to CO has been undertaken in the UK. Projects will take place within one NHS locality in England for each GDN.

  • Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Training

    The role is being funded to make Northern Gas Networks (NGN) staff, partners and customers aware of the wide-ranging vulnerabilities that exist within our network. The role will include supporting internal colleagues and training external stakeholders and partners in all areas relating to vulnerability. This includes training internal colleagues and partners on carbon monoxide (CO) and vulnerability awareness, fuel poverty, energy efficiency, Priority Services Register (PSR) and promoting the locking cooker valve service. NGN is currently developing a Customer Vulnerability & Competency Framework (CVCF), the main aim of which, is to train all NGN staff on identifying vulnerability, providing them with the ability taking action to support customers, or refer on to a third party, when required. The role will ensure training is delivered by an internal NGN resource, rather than outsourcing.

  • Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University Reading Van: Bringing reading to the community

    The project is aimed at tackling rural vulnerability in school children by delivering one-on-one reading sessions to children in care*(CIC) in schools. The sessions will be delivered via an NGN HEY CU reading van coordinators can take to rural schools, with carbon monoxide (CO) safety messages an integral part of the sessions.

  • Lake District Foundation Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Environmental Impact Awareness in Cumbria Campaign

    Covid 19 and lockdown have shifted visitor patterns to the Lake District National Park and Cumbria. There has been a significant number of new users attending the park who may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and the Countryside Code. This project aims to deliver clear and effective messaging about the risks of CO poisoning when cooking in confined spaces (tents, caravans and campervans), and how to minimise environmental impact on the region when visiting.

  • Highfield Co-op - Community Energy Cafe

    The town of Keighley near Bradford has high levels of long-term unemployment, and high numbers of residents living in fuel poverty. Highfield Co-op aims to create a pop-up energy café, where members of the community can attend and which will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of fuel poverty, provide energy advice and raise awareness of CO to vulnerable people.

  • Energy Confident

    Access to many individual case work services are becoming increasingly difficult and this has been compounded by the pandemic. Especially for those living with physical disadvantage, who may also be shielding. The project objectives are to increase confidence, self-esteem and resilience which in turn, will lead to increased physical and mental health and wellbeing. Overall, the aim is to empower people to prepare for emergency situations that could help to save lives. An integral part of the programme will be to incorporate PSR awareness raising and sign-up. DIAL will be working closely with Trussell Trust foodbanks across Leeds. They will also be involving Green Doctors, Care and Repair (Home Improvement Agency), Fire and Rescue, Adult Social Care, Health and Housing and Leeds Public Health.

  • Energy MOT

    This project aims to promote the concept that use of energy in the home should be viewed just like the use of a car – it needs a comprehensive check every year, to make sure everything is working efficiently and safely. Stockton and District Advice and Information Service will be working with Northallerton Citizens Advice on the project, an integral part of which will be to incorporate CO safety messages and make PSR referrals. This project will support NGN’s Vulnerability Strategy by aligning with the rurality and financial hardship themes.

  • Green Doctor - Energy Matters

    This project is aiming to tackle fuel poverty, energy vulnerability and related issues. The Green Doctor’s role is to install small energy efficiency measures, complete PSR referrals, raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the need to have both regular appliance safety checks and install CO alarms. The project is taking place in Yorkshire, Tees Valley, Newcastle and Gateshead.

  • Green Doctor - Fuel Poverty Training Course

    Taking place across the NGN network, the digital course is focused on tackling the lack of knowledge around fuel poverty, through awareness training provided for frontline key workers and trusted partners, to help deliver the key messages associated with this. An integral part of the programme will be to incorporate CO safety messages into the training sessions.

  • Green Doctor - Groundwork's Energy Management Services (GEMS)

    Based in Leeds and Bradford, this project is focused on tackling the issues of climate change and high energy costs, with a view to reaching net zero, through better energy management. GEMS provides an energy management service to community/charitable organisations who are based in buildings that have poor thermal energy efficiency, high running costs and would benefit from support and advice on how to reduce their costs. Some of the buildings supported, link into food banks thereby helping those in need. The overall aim is to implement an energy management system for future sustainability. An integral part of the programme will be to provide CO awareness sessions and to reduce CO emissions. As vulnerable people visit these buildings, it is important that they are fit for purpose, so they experience thermal comfort when receiving advice and information.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Community Energy and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Project

    Certain vulnerable communities within the Bradford district may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, such as refugees, low income families, and BAME communities. Highfield Co-op aim to work closely with these communities to raise awareness of CO poisoning, including the signs and symptoms, and provide advice around energy saving and efficiency. The project will use workshops and community events, as the mediums to access these hard to reach groups.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Community Energy Ambassadors

    The project, being delivered digitally across our network region, aims to support vulnerable residents by using trusted social networks within communities, to cascade information and to enable local action to apply for funding/grants and fuel switching, as well as being given safety information around the dangers of CO. An integral part of the programme will be to provide CO awareness sessions’ to frontline staff.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Heating for Health

    Over 26,000 households in North Yorkshire are in fuel poverty, where people are struggling to keep warm at an affordable cost. 11.7% of these fuel poor households include someone who has a long-term health condition or disability, which can be made worse by living in a cold home. The project will involve working with health professionals to reduce the number of individuals with a long-term health condition, who are living in fuel poverty in North Yorkshire. An integral part will involve providing training to NHS staff, who can then deliver advice to patients on reducing the risks of carbon monoxide, dealing with damp and condensation and PSR information.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Young People with Energy

    At the point when young people start living independently, no teaching nor education currently exists around how to use energy efficiently and safely in the home. The overall aim of this project is to engage with young people within North Yorkshire aged 16-25, to improve their knowledge and understanding of energy use, energy bills and CO safety. The engagement will be through a steering group made up of key organisations and will involve the development of a toolkit, that staff from the organisations can use to educate young people. The organisations involved will include, care leaver groups, the voluntary sector, social housing providers and youth charities.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Visual Impairment Energy Project

    Bradford has one of the highest rates of visual impairment within the NGN network. Highfield Co-op aims to work closely with this vulnerable group to raise awareness of fuel poverty and CO poisoning. Working in partnership with Sight Airedale, who support around 500 local people with visual impairments, they will use resources such as braille and audio to convey key messages.

  • Highfield Co-op - Community Energy Matters Magazine

    Highfield Co-op aim to create a community energy matters magazine, to share key information to communities, about CO awareness and information on energy-related issues including fuel poverty. The target audience is vulnerable people within Bradford and Keighley. The project will support customers via online and printed resources.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford) - Community STEM Events

    Highfield Co-op want to get young people within Bradford District interested in STEM-related careers. The aim of this project is to inspire communities, be creative and organise STEM events in local community settings. Females from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds are part of the target audience, with the ultimate aim to secure jobs in STEM roles.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Mental Health Film and Conversations Project

    This project is aimed at members of the Bradford district community living with mental health challenges who may struggle to understand fuel poverty and the dangers of CO. Highfield Co-op will show films at several venues to help support the group in understanding the dangers of CO and in accessing information around energy saving tips and ideas. The content of the films will include CO messages and energy advice.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford) - Vulnerability Film Festivals - Using Film to identify Vulnerable Communities

    There are vulnerable communities within the Bradford district who may not be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the efficient use of fuel and energy in the home. These include refugees, low income families, elderly, BAME communities and people living with addictions. Highfield Co-op aims to work closely with these groups by running a film festival in Bradford, to attract those who are hard to reach and lack knowledge around key safety and energy information. The films will be produced in conjunction with UNESCO Bradford City of Film.

  • Durham County Council - GP Partnering Pilot

    The GP Partnering Pilot will be a significant step forward in making direct contact with households at risk of cold-related ill health and CO poisoning. The project will target GP patients with COPD or asthma through 30 GP practices within County Durham. Partnering with Clinical Commissioning Group GP practices allows the council’s Warm Homes Team to make direct contact with vulnerable patients, as well as provide advice around fuel poverty and associated issues.

  • Durham County Council – Building Research Establishment (BRE) Data Targeting Pilot

    The pilot allows the council’s Warm Homes Team to make direct contact with vulnerable customers, to raise awareness of fuel poverty and help reduce the risks of CO poisoning. DCC have engaged the BRE to develop a countywide Housing Stock Condition Model (HSCM). The data will be used to target local communities within County Durham, with vulnerable and low-income households for assistance with grants and services, to upgrade homes to a satisfactory heating standard.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) - Rural Food Kitchen

    Rurality and associated isolation can make those living in fuel poverty even more vulnerable. The Rural Food Kitchen project seeks to overcome this barrier. This project has delivered ‘Grow Your Own’ packs to vulnerable and isolated people, and CAN wish to expand the initiative to more households to support healthy eating, through home cooking and delivery of prepared meals. The kitchens will be based at six of CAN’s existing Warm Hubs run by local volunteers. Information on the PSR and CO poisoning will also be provided. CAN will be working alongside Northumberland food banks, to deliver some aspects of this project.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) – Foodbanks

    Community Action Northumberland (CAN) has a long history of working with rural communities and has a strong network of links, including existing foodbanks. CAN are currently working with two food banks, providing slow cooker recipe cards along with the food needed to cook the recipe and the slow cooker. CAN would like to extend this support to four other food banks in rural Northumberland, as well as an unemployment hub. Promotion of CO awareness and access to the PSR, will also be undertaken at each foodbank and unemployment hub. CAN will be working alongside Northumberland food banks and local unemployment hubs to deliver this project.

  • Harvey & Hugo - Engaging with vulnerable customers PR project

    Although NGN is in constant communication with customers via a range of different channels, we know some of our audience remain hard to reach, in particular those customers living in vulnerable situations. This proportion of our customer base includes the young, older people, those with health conditions, those on low incomes and non-English speaking communities. In addition, it is a challenge for those living in rural isolation to have access to many services, including access to the internet and other essential services. Harvey & Hugo, an integrated communications agency specialising in PR and strategic campaigns, will be appointed to deliver this campaign and address this challenge. This project covers the whole NGN network.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) - Slow cooker road show

    Building on CAN’s slow cooker and Warm Hubs work, this project will involve spending six weeks of summer 2021 (end July and August), attending rurally isolated settlements in Northumberland, to demonstrate the benefits of using a slow cooker. Associated messaging at the events will focus on energy support (energy efficiency hints and tips), carbon monoxide (CO) awareness and an expansion on the diversity and efficiency of the use of slow cookers. Specifically targeting rurally isolated areas, where there may also be an increase in tourists over the summer holidays, will also assist in conveying key energy and gas safety messages. CAN will be working alongside parish Councils and Northumberland village hall consortiums to deliver some aspects of this project.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor – Warm Homes, Healthy Children

    The cost of living crisis is driving a nationwide agenda to tackle the problems associated with fuel poverty. The project will support low-income families in North and East Yorkshire with the ultimate aim of helping them to better manage their energy bills and to stay safe, warm and well. This project will aim to do this by educating family support services and embedding knowledge and information around energy advice, the Priority Services Register (PSR), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and other sources of support so that they can provide assistance to those who need it most to make their energy bills more manageable and affordable.

  • Groundwork - Young People with Energy