The first ever fuel bank has opened in Sheffield, to give foodbank users - with pre-payment meters - vouchers for gas and electricity, so they do not have to choosen between heating and eating.
The scheme, based at Sheffield’s S6 Foodbank, gives people a voucher worth around two weeks’ worth of energy - £30 in the summer and £49 in the winter.
First launched in April 2015, the npower Fuel Bank™ has so far been trialled in four areas around the UK and is now being rolled out more widely. The scheme is for people with a valid Sheffield Foodbank voucher, who, if eligible to receive the credit, could use it to repay emergency credit and top up their gas and electricity meter. This enables households that have run out of energy to get the power back on within a few hours and keep the lights and heating on for around two weeks.
Chris Hardy, coordinator of S6 Foodbank, said “This is a wonderful partnership and gives us the opportunity to support low income families and people in real need who are struggling with day to day living costs. The Fuel Bank allows us to give that immediate help.”