Northern Powergrid

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Barnados - Support in Newcastle -May 2022 - DEI.JPGFamilies in Newcastle will benefit from a new partnership between children’s charity Barnardo’s and Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the region’s electricity distribution network.

Up to 500 families identified by Children and Families Newcastle East - Barnardo’s will be given the opportunity to take part in one-to-one support and workshops delivered by family partners where they will learn about being energy efficient and how to reduce costs.

The electricity network operator has funded, through its partnership with the charity Green Doctors, training to enable the Barnardo’s team to share vital energy saving advice. Families may also be referred to Northern Powergrid funded home visits by Green Doctors and benefit from money saving advice specific to the energy use in their homes, as well as receiving energy saving measures such as energy saving bulbs, dehumidifiers, and draught excluders. In addition, Northern Powergrid funds debt advisors at Citizens Advice Newcastle, where families in need can also be referred to.

As part of the support pack the families identified will be invited to join Northern Powergrid’s Priority Services Membership which provides extra support to people who may be more vulnerable in a power cut due to their personal or medical circumstances.

Simone James, Senior Practitioner at Barnardo’s Children and Families Newcastle East, said: "This is an innovative partnership which will help families who may be struggling to keep costs down; in the current climate this is something which is needed now more than ever. Families who are eligible for the workshops have been identified as those who need our support the most and are living in areas of Newcastle experiencing multiple depravation. We hope this new venture will help to educate families and improve their quality of living.”

Michelle Cummings, Northern Powergrid’s Social Responsibility Manager, said: “Being a force for good goes beyond our network which delivers the electricity people buy from their chosen supplier to their door. Our network charges remain at around 25p a day on peoples’ bills, but we understand that the increased costs from their supplier for the electricity they use means saving energy has become vital for some families. We hope by bringing together our partnerships with Barnardo’s and Green Doctors we can ensure those families that need it most are supported and empowered to reduce their energy costs now and in the future.” 

Through the partnership, Barnardo’s will also be able to signpost people to extra support available from Green Doctors, Northern Powergrid and the network operator’s other partners.

Children and Families Newcastle is a service commissioned by Newcastle City Council and operates from the Children and Families Newcastle Hub.

The service runs baby and toddler groups, sessions for adults, training, family support, parenting, breastfeeding advice and more. For information visit the service Facebook page:

Pictured above from left to right: Suzan Saber, Toren Mohammed, Jina Yavri and Kani Shawqi who all attend the culture exchange group at the Children’s Centre and were given packs containing items such as LED bulbs and dehumidifiers.