Groundwork and the Cadent Foundation have today announced a new £6m programme to support those living in fuel poverty across England.

Stay Warm, Stay Well will provide much needed help for households who are struggling with their energy bills, with Groundwork Green Doctors – energy efficiency advisors – visiting homes and offering practical guidance on energy saving, behaviour change tips and referrals to other local support services, including debt advice and food banks.

Over the course of the three-year programme, over 14,500 consultations will take place in regions across England, with a particular focus on vulnerable households.

In addition to the Green Doctor support, the programme is also funding an initiative to support the creation of new energy advisors, via a 12-month traineeship opportunity, through the Green Doctor Academy. This scheme aims to create more accessible pathways into work, in particular for those who are unemployed or economically inactive, people with disabilities or individuals from an ethnically diverse background.  

The programme is part of a is a new phase of Groundwork’s partnership with the Cadent Foundation, which has so far invested £3m in funding over 10,000 Green Doctor consultations carried out between 2020-23 across England.

This new funding from the Cadent Foundation couldn’t be coming at a more important time. Feedback from our Green Doctors is that they’re visiting an increasing number of people who are taking drastic measures to make ends meet – from skipping meals to living in permanently cold, damp homes – with many falling into debt. We’re also seeing more working people who are ineligible for government support but who still need advice on how to reduce their bills. We’re delighted that the Cadent Foundation is able to provide strategic, multi-year support for our Green Doctors, which will help us expand our service to more people and ensure we have a workforce able to meet growing demand.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive

The impact from our initial partnership which began in 2020, has been incredible to witness, particularly as the work of energy advisors has been vital throughout the cost-of-living crisis. We’ve learnt a lot throughout the first phase, which supported more than 10,000 households, but being able to fund the training of local people, to advise and guide their own communities on energy efficiency and money management, is really powerful. We truly believe that a solid knowledge of how to optimise the energy efficiency of a home, is the key to alleviating fuel poverty in the long-term and the next stage in our partnership will allow us to expand the programme even further, increasing our involvement and doubling the amount of funding to help even more families.

Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation

Stay Warm, Stay Well will provide immediate need for support for households during the cost of living and continued energy crisis. Insight from a recent Groundwork survey, found that 94% of Green Doctors reported supporting households that did not use their central heating at all, with 85% saying they had worked with people cutting back on food or only eating cold meals.

We’re seeing people choosing between which bills to pay and whether to eat meals, and many don’t even consider putting on the heating. It’s heart-breaking and infuriating. The energy crisis is far from over – there are so many people and families in urgent need of help.

Groundwork Green Doctor

In addition to the new programme, Groundwork has developed a section of its website, Get Energy Help, to offer clear, simple advice on different ways to save energy, stay warm and reduce energy bills including resources on minimising heat loss or understanding meters.

Notes to Editors

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About Groundwork

Groundwork is a federation of charities with a collective mission to take practical action to create a fair and green future in which people, places, and nature thrive. We support communities and businesses to build capacity and resilience in order to tackle hardship, achieve a just transition to net-zero and help nature recover in a way that reduces inequality and leads to healthier, happier lives for all:

About the Cadent Foundation

The Cadent Foundation was established in July 2019 with Cadent committing one per cent of annual post tax profits each year to the Foundation. Our aim is to help households find sustainable solutions to fuel poverty and ensure people are safe and warm in their homes. We work with charitable organisations to help households improve their financial wellbeing and become more energy efficient through advice, support and practical measures.

The funds of the Cadent Foundation are administered by Charities Trust (Charity Registration No: 327489) who will manage the grant giving and ensure that all grants donated by the Cadent Foundation are only used to further charitable purposes for the public benefit: