Another gong for charity energy champions

The Isle of Wight’s Footprint Trust is celebrating having been given the “Celebrating Inclusivity Award” by the charity National Energy Action (NEA).

Two members of staff were given bursaries as a result of this achievement, and were able to attend the NEA’s national conference, which this year was entitled, “The Many Faces of Fuel Poverty.”

Ray Harrington-Vail, the founder of the Footprint Trust, and Laura Stichbury, a senior manager from the charity travelled to Nottingham to attend the conference and network with others who do similar work to themselves. They were also able to talk with potential funders, and learn a great deal from the presentations, all of which will help further the work of the charity back on the Island.

The Inclusivity Award was in recognition of the charity’s ‘Monergy’ training scheme, which gives people skills to understand energy bills and cost of running appliances. Nearly 1,000 Islanders have benefited from the free training, which started as a pilot scheme and has now grown into a main part of their work. Following on from the Monergy training, Trust energy experts visit people in their homes and further cut their costs. In the last year the charity has saved people over £100,000. At the home visit, Trust staff will even call the customers energy company for them and sort out any issues, if the householder is unable to do it. They can also get free insulation for homes, saving around £200 per year on utility bills. To get help from The Footprint Trust please email or ring (01983) 822282

In recent years the Footprint Trust has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and Ray was made an Honorary Master of the Open University, for his work in community education.  Mark Russell who also works at the Trust and Ray are both Energy Champions for  Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Thanks to recent funding and support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, The Ebico Trust, The Santander Foundation and E.On, this project will be able to assist around 1,000 people over the next year.