Keeping children warm and well

Children 1st 

Providing energy advice and safeguarding to 1,600 fuel poor families in Scotland 

Our project at a glance 

  • Priority need group: Families with young children 
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups to access tailored support services 
  • Support target: 800 households per year 
  • Duration: April 2024 – March 2026 
  • Investment: £372,202 over two years
  • Forecast SROI: £1.69

Why we’re working together 

Households with children have a high prevalence of fuel poverty, with one in five households with children experiencing fuel poverty in 2020 in the UK.  

The impact of this is significant on the development and wellbeing of children. Fuel poverty impacts children’s growth and development, and there are wider physical and mental health implications of living in a cold home for both children and their parents.  

Almost 250,000 children in Scotland are living in poverty. As Scotland’s national children’s charity, Children 1st has a proven track record of supporting society’s most vulnerable children and families, and they are trusted to do so. By partnering with the charity, we’re able to provide energy-related support to families as part of the charity’s ‘one-stop shop’ approach to supporting Scottish families.  

Together, we’re working to minimise the health and wellbeing impact on children and families who are living in fuel poverty across Scotland and ensure they have the required energy safeguards in place to maintain a safe and warm home.  

Project objectives

  • Upskilling the Children 1st financial wellbeing team to enhance existing energy knowledge 
  • Providing emergency support to families who are in energy crisis 
  • Promoting the Priority Services Register and helping families sign up for the free service 
  • Raising awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) safety and providing free CO alarms where appropriate 
Media library image
Two children are sitting on a swing with their parent in the background

How we’re working together 

One-to-one financial wellbeing and energy advice  

Multi-skilled financial wellbeing advisers offer support across multiple areas including debt, welfare rights, income maximisation and budgeting. Alongside financial advice, the advisers also support families to use energy safely, efficiently and efficiently.  

Children 1st advisers support households to cope with the rising cost of living via the charity telephone helpline Parentline, webchat, email, text, video call and in family homes.  

By providing high-quality, bespoke advice and support with energy issues, families will improve their living standards, increase the comfort and warmth of their homes, reduce energy costs and feel empowered to mitigate the impact of low income and poverty to improve their quality of life.  

Expanding the community-based adviser service 

As well as the national Parentline service, Children 1st works alongside communities in centres across Scotland. Our partnership will expand the existing community-based adviser service into two areas, Ayrshire and Glasgow, where the support is needed most.  

Supporting families in energy crisis 

We’ve established a hardship fund to support families in energy crisis. When the Children 1st team identifies that a household is in crisis and unable to pay their energy bills, we’re able to provide emergency fuel vouchers. This immediate support helps families recover from these situations more quickly.  

Upskilling the Children 1st team 

We’re providing the Children 1st Financial Wellbeing team with access to City & Guilds level 3 energy awareness training, enabling the charity to incorporate energy advice into its national financial wellbeing offer. Our partner Gas Safe Charity will also be providing carbon monoxide awareness training through its Think CO programme.   

How to get involved 

Accessing the Children 1st financial wellbeing service 

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients in Scotland to the Children 1st financial wellbeing team by calling the Children 1st Parentline on 08000 28 22 33 or emailing  

You can also talk to their specialist team if you are concerned about a child or would like advice and support about parenting. 

Becoming a partner 

You can find out more about working with Children 1st by emailing