Fuelling Futures

Home-Start UK 

Providing energy advice and safeguarding to 22,000 young families across southern England

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: 11,000 households per year 
  • Duration: April 2024 – March 2026 
  • Investment: £1,451,297 over two years 
  • Forecast SROI: £1.64 

I have learnt so much about energy saving and making the children warm. Through the training with SGN, I realised that my heavily frozen freezer was losing me money. I was so shocked and it was making my bills increase significantly every month. With my new information provided by my local Home-Start group I have the knowledge to help my family and it has eased my worry about keeping the children safe and warm.  

Home-Start UK service user

Why we’re working together 

One in five households with children experienced fuel poverty in 2020 in the UK. At the height of the cost-of-living crisis, a further 300,000 more children were plunged into absolute poverty.  

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.  

Home-Start UK stands by families grappling with issues that hinder their ability to provide a nurturing childhood for their children, be it poverty, isolation, mental health struggles, disability or illness. With a network of local Home-Starts spread across the UK, they do more than just help parents cope, they empower them to thrive, fostering an environment that ensures the best possible start for their children. 

We’re proudly partnering with Home-Start UK to support young families in fuel poverty across our Southern network area. Together, we’re opening up access to vital support and energy safeguarding services to help young families maintain a safe and warm home.   

Project objectives 

  • Training 250 Home-Start employees and volunteers on energy safeguarding 
  • Reaching 18,000 young families through safe and warm energy advice workshops 
  • Supporting 4,000 young families with personalised energy advice 
  • Referring 10,000 households for specialist home energy efficiency assessments  
  • Promoting the Priority Services Register to families and helping 10,000 eligible households sign up for the free service 
  • Raising awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) safety and providing 3,500 free CO alarms where appropriate 
Media library image
A smiling baby looks up at a Home Start worker

How we’re working together 

One-to-one energy and financial advice 

Home-Start employees and volunteers are supporting families with personalised energy advice to help them maintain a safe and warm home. The team will cover topics such as carbon monoxide safety, registering for the PSR and dealing with energy debt.

Where required, the Home-Start team will refer households for specialist energy advice and energy efficiency measures from our partners National Energy Foundation (NEF) and YES Energy Solutions.

Safe and warm energy workshops 

Over two years, we’ll be delivering 1,000 safe and warm energy advice workshops at all 37 Home-Start venues across our southern England network area. The workshops cover energy efficiency, energy debt, the PSR and carbon monoxide safety. 

As well as helping families build confidence in managing energy costs and becoming more energy efficient, these workshops are a valuable opportunity to connect with other young families in a safe and inviting space. Through the workshops, we’re also helping young families combat loneliness and isolation by connecting with their local community.  

Upskilling the Home-Start team 

We’re training Home-Start employees and volunteers on energy safeguarding, providing them with the skills and knowledge to identify signs of fuel poverty, triage vulnerable families and offer onward referrals to other organisations with our network of support partners. Our partner Gas Safe Charity will also be providing carbon monoxide awareness training through its Think CO programme.   

How to get involved 

Accessing the Home-Start service 

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients in the south of England to a Home-Start centre for support. You can find their nearest centre on the Home-Start website

If you’re a parent in southern England who is struggling, Home-Start has lots of help on offer. You can find out more about all the things they can help with on the charity’s website.    

Becoming a Home-Start UK partner 

You can find out more about working with Home-Start UK on the charity’s website

We are so proud of our partnership with SGN and the work we will do together to support families in communities across the SGN Southern network. We are seeing a growing demand from parents needing energy advice, and together, we are committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of parents and children. Our aim is to reach more families to ensure they have the tools and support they need to keep their home safe and warm. 

Peter Grigg

CEO, Home-Start UK