Six figure grant awarded to Children’s Hospices across Scotland
Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) has been awarded a British Gas Energy Trust grant totalling more than £196,000 to support the families of babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions through the cost-of-living crisis.
CHAS is the single national provider of hospice care to children in Scotland. CHAS offers support to children with life-shortening conditions and their families through its hospices in Kinross and Balloch, a specialist team in every children’s hospital in Scotland, and in the community. The funding package will be used to deploy additional family income maximisation officers to offer money and energy advice in our hospices, in homes, in hospitals and virtually.
Specific skills sessions will focus on the running of household appliances and will provide useful money and energy-saving tips, like batch cooking.
Eligible families will also be able to apply for emergency fuel vouchers, and necessary appliances like air dryers and hot water bottles – alongside other practical measures like warm bedding will be available.
Rami Okasha, CHAS CEO, said: “We are so thankful to the British Gas Energy Trust for awarding us this grant which will help the families that we support across Scotland and enhance our current money and energy advice service.
“The families we support have a child with a life shortening condition. Many of these families, as well as living with the psychologically devastating knowledge of the impending death of a much loved child, encounter many practical and economic disadvantages. Many families are also providing round the clock care and don’t have a choice in turning off their heating or equipment that keeps their child alive. At a time where these families should be making happy memories together, they are living with fear and worry.
“This fund will allow us to provide 1-to-1 intensive support for families in emergency situations who may require advice around energy tariffs, cost of running household appliances and saving money when cooking. It will also allow us to provide emergency fuel vouchers helping ease the strain of travelling costs.”
Jessica Taplin, CEO of the British Gas Energy Trust, said: “The rising cost-of-living means more people are experiencing financial difficulty for the first time, and are struggling to pay their bills. The families CHAS help are facing a devastating time, as a Trust we are committed to working to support those most affected by the terrible impact of poverty, and this new funding partnership will help provide intensive support to some of the families in emergency situations – so hopefully they have one less thing to worry about.”
Since the start of the cost-of-living crisis, Centrica – the parent company of British Gas – has put together a support package for households worth more than £25m, which will continue to grow. This funding includes 18-month grants paid to more than 20 advice centres and charities across England, Scotland and Wales, including CHAS.
For more information about the British Gas Energy Trust, to find out about the support that’s available, and to apply for a grant, visit https://britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/.