Safe and warm

Kidney Care UK

Providing a critical lifeline to dialysis patients across the UK

Our project at a glance

  • GDN partners: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities 
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority customer groups
  • Support target:17,667 households over two years
  • Duration: March 2024 – March 2026
  • Investment: £2,577,377 over two years
  • Forecast SROI: £16.45

Why we’re working together

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common, long term and irreversible condition affecting 1 in 10 of the adult population in the UK – that’s around 7.2 million people. 

If your kidneys fail, dialysis treatment is vital to keep you alive and improve your quality of life. Dialysis can take up to six hours a day, three days a week, week after week. Even with treatment, patients live with breathlessness, nausea, and extreme itching. Fatigue, brain fog, depression and chronic pain are commonplace, as is anaemia, which leads to extreme difficulty keeping warm.

Due to the time constraints and health impacts associated with treatment for patients with CKD, almost three-quarters of dialysis patients are unable to work (76%). The consequent low income means many people with kidney disease live in relative poverty, compounded by the misery of increasing costs of living.

Together as Britain’s four gas networks, we’ve proudly partnered with Kidney Care UK to support dialysis patients access holistic energy safeguarding and advice services.

Project objectives

  • Providing energy support services to 17,667 kidney patients offering information on the Priority Services Register and other support services designed to help vulnerable customers with their utilities 
  • Supporting 8,867 kidney patients in 128 UK renal units with energy advice and income maximisation support 
  • Establishing a new telephone advice service for kidney patients to access tailored energy support services supporting a further 8,800 people 

How we’re working together

Face-to-face support service

Our personal, face-to-face support service operates within 128 renal units across the UK. Trained and trusted Patient Support & Advocacy Officers (PSAOs) from Kidney Care UK support kidney patients on dialysis to access all the benefits and welfare support they are entitled to. The Kidney Care UK team is also able to provide specialist money and energy advice, tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by kidney patients. 

New telephone Support Line

We’re enhancing the face-to-face service with a new freephone telephone Support Line, which provides immediate help to patients with advanced CKD across of range of issues. Offering this free service will make it easier for people living with CKD to get in touch with the charity. Through the Support Line, kidney patients can access advice on matters including financial assistance, free renal counselling, energy efficiency guidance , registering for the PSR and carbon monoxide safety.

How to get involved

Accessing support from Kidney Care UK service

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients who are living with kidney disease for specialist support from Kidney Care UK by directing them to

If you’re a kidney patient, Kidney Care UK offers a range of free services and confidential advice for you and your family. You can find out more on the Kidney Care UK website or by calling the team on 01420 541 424. 

Becoming a Kidney Care UK partner

You can find out more about working with Kidney Care UK on the charity’s website.

We are pleased to be working with SGN as part of a transformational partnership with the gas distribution networks across the UK to support more than 17,000 vulnerable kidney patients who are in immediate need of support.

VMCA investment from SGN is enabling Kidney Care UK to increase its direct, on the ground support to thousands of dialysis patients across Scotland and the South of England, delivering tangible welfare and well-being benefits at a time when it is more important than ever.

Laurie Cuthbert

Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at Kidney Care UK