Welcoming Warm Spaces Sussex

Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice 

Supporting Sussex residents to stay safe and warm at home over winter

Our project at a glance

  • Strategic priority area: Targeting geographic communities most at risk of fuel poverty
  • Support target: 2,142 households 
  • Duration: 2023
  • Investment: £83,000 over three months
  • Forecast SROI: £5.25

Why we’re working together

Through our existing Tackling Fuel Poverty Together partnership with Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice, we joined with other regional utility companies SSEN, Southern Water and UK Power Networks to deliver a wraparound utility advice and casework service to the most vulnerable households in East and West Sussex. 

As the cost-of-living crisis deepened throughout 2022, Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice was reporting more and more households relying on financial hardship schemes to make ends meet. We knew this would only increase as we headed towards winter and the crisis worsened. 

We spearheaded an additional project, uniting the same project partners, to provide proactive support at community warm hubs to help Sussex residents stay safe and warm at home over the winter. 

Following the project’s success, we’re continuing to support the warm hubs in winter 2023/24 as part of our wider Tackling Fuel Poverty Together programme.

Project objectives

  • Embedding skilled Citizens Advice energy advisers in existing warm hubs across Sussex
  • Providing residents with information on how to stay safe and warm at home at a time of increased need
  • Offering residents a place to stay warm and get a hot drink alongside accessing advice services
  • Raising awareness of carbon monoxide safety 
  • Registering eligible households for the Priority Services Register

How we worked together

Energy crisis support

By embedding Citizens Advice advisers within warm hubs, we were able to proactively reach residents most in need of our support by taking our services directly to them. Advisers supported households in crisis with a range of measures to help them stay safe and warm over the winter. These measures included energy advice, CO safety information, debt advice, warm packs, and sanitary and hygiene packs among others. 

In particular, our funding went towards energy and benefits advisory services, fuel vouchers, access to lifesaving carbon monoxide alarms and installation of locking cooker valves. 

Wider community engagement

Beyond supporting households in person at the warm hubs, we also issued a direct mailer to 500,000 Sussex households with information on winter resilience, CO safety, energy advice and the PSR. 

How to get involved

Accessing support from Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice 

Whatever the problem, our VCMA partners can direct Arun and Chichester area residents to Citizens Advice for support. Centre locations and contact details can be found on the Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice website.

You can also contact Citizens Advice directly if you're a local resident in need of help. 

Becoming an Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice partner

If you’re an organisation supporting residents in the Arun and Chichester area, you can contact Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice to find out more about working together.