Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) is looking for volunteers in Carlisle and Eden to be trained as Champions for the Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria energy-saving service.
“We’re looking for people who are keen to save money on their own energy bills and are prepared to tell others about the help that’s on offer,” says Tina Holt, energy efficiency project officer with (CAfS), which runs the service. “We’ve trained up a group of champions in South Lakes and they’re already putting us in touch with their neighbours, friends and other contacts. Now we want to spread the word even further.”
Potential Champions could be volunteers in their communities, frontline workers who already support people as part of their job, or simply individuals who are keen to help their neighbours. Their main role is to make a connection to the Cold to Cosy team of energy advisors who will then visit homes and ensure that simple measures such as low-energy lighting, draught excluders and radiator reflectors are in place to reduce energy use and costs.
“The Champions have an important role in encouraging more referrals to CAfS,” says Tina. “We want to recruit as many people as possible early in the New Year and we’ve got two dates set up in January for training. The main thing a Champion needs is enthusiasm rather than expertise.”
The training sessions will take place from 10am to 12 noon on Friday 10 January at the Library in Penrith and on Wednesday 15 January at Greystones Community Centre in Carlisle.
“Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria is aiming to do exactly what it says, improving people’s homes to save them money and save energy,” says Tina. “Becoming a Champion is a great opportunity for people to help others and get involved in a very worthwhile scheme. The first step is to book onto a training session at www.cafs.org.uk/events. If those dates don’t suit, people should contact me at the CAfS office and we can talk about other ways to get involved.”
Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria is delivered by CAfS, with a network of trusted Cumbrian tradespeople carrying out the more substantial draught proofing installations. It is funded through the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme and partners are Local Energy Advice Partnership (or LEAP) and the ECHO free boiler replacement scheme (funded by energy suppliers under Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives), South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council’s Warm Homes Eden project and Carlisle City Council.
Householders can apply for a free Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria visit and help at www.cosyhomes.org.uk or by calling CAfS on 01768 210276.