The Island’s Footprint Trust charity has added its voice to concerns that nationally some £16bn worth of benefits are unclaimed every year. 27 charities, which include Citizens Advice, Save the Children and Age Concern and Help the Aged, have written to the Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper, calling on the Government to do more to ensure money earmarked for the children, families and pensioners in greatest need reached them.
The Trust estimates that some 6,000 Island households could be among those entitled to unclaimed benefits. A total of about 10,000 people on the Isle of Wight could be suffering from the effects of the cold and making difficult choices between food or fuel. Many of these people could also get free or reduced price insulation and even a modern heating system, it goes on to state. People living in areas of Ryde, Chale, Newport and East Cowes are known to be particularly at risk, due to low income and poorly insulated homes.
“If people are spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy for their home they should contact us, Jobcentreplus, Age Concern or the Pension Service as they may be entitled to extra allowances. The Footprint Trust is very keen to speak to people about help available and to offer free home visits.”
The Trust’s Warmahome project is currently targeting South Wight particularly the Chale area thanks to support from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. People can call them on 01983 82-22-82.