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Spotting the undercover signs of fuel poverty all part of the mission for CCP's Home Energy Agents

Volunteer Home Energy Agents from Cheltenham's CCP charity are briefed on the fight against fuel poverty as part of the ASSIST programme

Six volunteers have recently joined a Europe-wide movement to take a stand against fuel poverty, training as Home Energy Agents with Severn Wye as part of the ASSIST 2gether project.

Candidates from local Gloucestershire charity, Caring for Communities and People (CCP), joined Severn Wye staff in October 2018 to explore the signs of fuel poverty in order to recognise residents suffering from cold, inefficient or hard-to-heat homes this winter.

Fuel poverty continues to be a poorly-understood reality for thousands of Gloucestershire residents, and is often a problem that people struggle to identify, associate with or admit they are struggling with. ASSIST, running across Europe and funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, is training thousands of volunteers across the continent to act as undercover 'Home Energy Agents', able to spot the signs of fuel poverty and refer those suffering to the help and support available to them.

Everything we do at Severn Wye is with a view to see fuel poverty eradicated in our lifetime, but given that this is a battle that many people continue to face – and face alone – it's vital that we have all hands on deck.

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