Local companies supporting the most vulnerable this winter

Published: 22 November 2022

Cost of Living campaign group photo

Local companies have donated over £28,000 to help this winter.

A host of local companies have donated over £28,000 to help those hardest hit this winter during the cost-of-living crisis.

Derby Homes set a target of raising enough money to buy 500 slow cookers, 500 air fryers and 500 electric blankets/throws.

Their contractors and suppliers have responded generously with contributions already received from Huws Gray, ARCUS Consulting, EEM, Nationwide Windows, Eurocell, Marley, Buxton Decorators, SPK Contractors, JAL Roofing, Vaillant Group, Bell Group and Westville Group.

Derby City Council Local Area Coordinators are working closely with Community Action Derby and Food 4 Thought Alliance, who are organising delivery to residents across the city.

One of the first residents to receive a heated blanket was hugely appreciative of the gesture.

The elderly gentleman from Derby has a number of physical health conditions which limit his mobility. Due to the cost-of-living crisis he’s not been able to afford to put his heating on and has had to sit in the dark after running out of credit on several occasions.

He wanted to remain anonymous but did say:

“I’ve been struggling for weeks, the cost of living is having a huge impact on me every day.

“I’m reluctant to ask for help but having spoken to Community Action Derby I realised I could get some help. They helped me apply for the Household Support Fund vouchers.

“I’ve now been able to buy food from Sainsburys and top up my electricity. I can’t remember the last time I ate three meals in a day.

“Having used the blanket for the first time last night I can’t tell you how it was. It actually made me feel human.”

Derby Homes Chair Mike Ainsley said:

“It has been a difficult few years for us all, however 2022 remains an anxious time as the country begins to see the growing cost of living pressures.

“As a collective group we are doing everything we can to help residents through the crisis. There’s still time for local firms to get involved too to help the cause.

“Heating an individual by using the blankets can save people hundreds off their energy bill when compared to solely relying on central heating. We hope they can make a real difference.

“Likewise, alternative cooking appliances such as slow cookers and air-fryers can be a cheaper way of heating food than traditional electric or gas ovens, especially for smaller meals.

“The amount of energy home appliances use varies massively. Using a slow cooker, for example, for eight hours costs around 44p (1.30kWh), which is a big reduction compared to when using an electric oven (which uses around 3.04kWh costing £1.03).

“Meanwhile it costs 3.5pence per hour for a heated throw on full power compared to 70pence per hour for a 2kw electric fan heater."

The items will be handed out to the most vulnerable, to the people who will benefit from them most. This includes elderly people, or those with specific medical conditions which make them immobile, very unwell, or feel cold.

Councillor Roy Webb, cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing said:

“The cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone, and the rollout of these appliances will go some way to reducing the financial pressure on our most vulnerable residents.

“A full raft of cost-of-living support is available to help people struggling with the rising cost of energy, food and bills, which can be found at https://www.communityactionderby.org.uk/crisis-support/help-with-the-cost-of-living.”

We would urge people to visit the Community Action Derby website to find plenty of useful information and advice on energy, food and bills during this anxious time.

If you can't find what you are looking for on the Community Action Derby website - www.communityactionderby.org.uk/crisis-support , telephone 01332 346266 between 9.30am and 4.00pm , Monday to Friday or email [email protected]

There is also still time for local firms to get involved in the campaign. If you are interested in donating to the cause, please get in touch with Community Action Derby.

Editor’s Note: Consumer websites such as Money Saving Expert have a range of advice on items such as these as lower cost ways of staying warm or cooking. They are being offered to people as a contribution to staying warm and reducing cooking costs this winter.

Photo caption
(left-right): Steve Braidley (Buildbase), Mark Burton (Vaillant), Karen Fletcher (Bell Group), Mike Ainsley (Chair of Derby Homes), Darren Palfrey (Bell Group), Kelly Hibbert (Eurocell), Paul Brookhouse (Community Action Derby), Kevin Caveney (Nationwide Windows), John Lees (JAL Roofing), Sophia Cox (EEM), Cadell Beasley (Marley), Molly Grice (EEM) and Shaun Bennett (Derby Homes Director of Investment & Maintenance). 

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