Think CO training

Gas Safe Charity

Helping to make our CO ambitions a reality

Our project at a glance

  • Participating GDNs: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities
  • Strategic priority area: Carbon monoxide awareness
  • Support target: 750 frontline workers per year
  • Duration: March 2023 to March 2026
  • Investment: £42,825 over three years (App development)
  • Forecast SROI: £1.10

All of our energy advisers delivering work under the VCMA partnership have completed Think CO training. It has been an invaluable resource for engaging and training advisers in this advice area.

Laura Williams

Service Delivery Manager, Energy Projects, Citizens Advice England and Wales

Why we’re working together

Through our existing partnerships and engagement, we have identified there is a significant knowledge and skills gap around CO safety within third-sector organisations and their frontline workers and volunteers who work in the homes of vulnerable people.

Although they are often best placed to do so, these frontline teams are not able to raise awareness of the dangers of CO or identify potential CO risks when supporting people living in vulnerable circumstances.

We have a shared ambition with the Gas Safe Charity to help people be gas safe by informing, educating and supporting those who need it most. We both understand that by increasing awareness of carbon monoxide, we can reduce harm.

The Gas Safe Charity’s ‘Think CO’ programme has provided free CO awareness training and resources to approximately 4,000 frontline workers and volunteers from hundreds of organisations since 2016.

By coming together with the Gas Safe Charity, we’re able to educate frontline workers across our VCMA partner network on carbon monoxide awareness and reduce CO harm in our communities. The charity’s Think CO training has been embedded within our programmes with Citizens Advice England and Wales, ALLIANCE Scotland and The Scouts among others.

In addition, we’re leading a collaborative initiative that brings together all four of Britain’s gas networks with the Gas Safe Charity to develop a new easy-to-access app for participants to access after the initial Think CO training. After the training, frontline workers nationwide will be able to benefit from up-to-date CO safety information and advice to help the vulnerable households they support indefinitely.

Project objectives

  • Ensuring frontline workers have the knowledge and skills to protect vulnerable groups from carbon monoxide
  • Developing an easily accessible CO safety app to complement the existing Think CO programme
Media library image
image showing a blue leaflet with information about carbon monoxide

How we’re working together

Carbon monoxide safety training for frontline workers

The Think CO programme is designed to help frontline staff who work in the homes of vulnerable people become more aware of the risks of CO poisoning. The in-person workshops and the interactive e-learning training courses equip people with a basic understanding of CO, knowledge of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and how to help prevent CO poisoning.

Enduring CO information app

We’re developing a dedicated Think CO app to provide a quick and easy reminder of the sources, signs and symptoms of CO and immediate advice on steps to take if symptoms of CO poisoning or signs of CO exist or are suspected during a home visit.

Critically, frontline teams will be able to access our app from their smartphones in real time, as they’re supporting someone vulnerable in their home. There’s no need for teams to remember a web address, and all the information and features are available regardless of whether the phone has signal.

How to get involved

Accessing Think CO training

Educating frontline workers on CO awareness is key to us reducing carbon monoxide harm in our communities. We’re keen to extend the training to frontline workers from third-sector organisations, fire and rescue services, local authorities, occupational therapists, private home care and other support services.

If you have frontline teams at your organisation who could benefit from free Think CO training, please visit the Think CO online workshop booking platform to book one of the upcoming workshops, or if you’d prefer to complete the training at your own pace, email to request access to the e-learning module.

Working closely with SGN, the Gas Safe Charity's Think CO Programme has extended the reach of its free carbon monoxide awareness training to organisations that provide support to vulnerable people. Our partnership has proved invaluable, particularly by engaging energy advice teams from Citizens Advice and by enabling us to make new connections with the Scouts.

Hilary Bath

Programme Director, Gas Safe Charity