My Network Energy Advice

Worthing Mencap

Supporting 1,875 West Sussex residents with a disability, their families and carers to be safe and warm at home

Our project at a glance

  • Priority need group: Disabled people
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups to access tailored support services
  • Support target: 1,875 households over two years
  • Duration: April 2024 – March 2026
  • Investment: £152,081 over two years

The information I got was easy to understand and afterwards I felt like I understood what was happening. Lorna helped me to get my energy cheaper from another company. She also gave me some good tips to stay warm at home without turning the heating on.


My Network Service User

Why we’re working together

In 2018, disability equality charity Scope published its ‘Out in the Cold’ report, which that over a third of disabled adults say that their impairment or condition has a significant effect on their energy costs. 

In the wake of the cost-of-living crisis, Scope revisited this research in 2023 and found that this situation had worsened for disabled people. Now, on average, life costs an extra £1,222 a month if you’re disabled. With the extra costs of heating, equipment and therapies, disabled people are more likely to face financial vulnerability, increased energy costs and fuel poverty.

In 2023, we began working with Worthing Mencap through our Safe and Warm Community Scheme. The charity supports people with disabilities in the Worthing area, primarily those with a learning disability, to lead full and independent lives. Together, we were able to support 185 households with a disabled person to access accessible energy efficiency and carbon monoxide safety information and advice. 

This smaller-scale project identified there is a considerable need for our energy advice service in Worthing and the wider West Sussex area. 

Through our new partnership, we will address the barriers disabled people face in understanding and accessing the energy advice available to them if they are in or at risk of fuel poverty across West Sussex.

Project objectives

  • Providing one-on-one energy efficiency advice and support to 900 disabled people most at risk of living in fuel poverty 
  • Reaching at least 1,400 disabled people through group energy advice workshops
  • Distributing 200 carbon monoxide alarms to households without a working alarm
  • Training 10 Mencap Worthing colleagues on energy safeguarding 
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Worthing Mencap service users

How we’re working together

One-to-one energy advice sessions

At our one-to-one appointments, people with a disability can receive tailored energy advice from a dedicated in-house Energy Advice Co-ordinator. The session includes information about CO safety, signing up for the Priority Services Register and a benefit eligibility check. 

Our My Network Energy Advice service will also provide this vital energy advice and safety information in an accessible and easy-to-understand way that gives disabled people equal access to support to alleviate fuel poverty.  

Group energy advice sessions

As well as our one-to-sessions, we’ll also be delivering 200 accessible group energy advice sessions. We aim to reach at least 1,400 people through these sessions, including people with a learning disability and their carers. 

Community event information stalls

We’ll expand the reach of our service by hosting at least 20 information stalls at specialised events across West Sussex, identified through our network of partnerships. At these events, we’ll raise CO awareness, share information on the PSR and arrange referrals for a one-to-one appointment for at least 200 people.

Carbon monoxide awareness

We’ll be raising awareness of carbon monoxide and how to reduce CO harm at all our one-to-one sessions, group workshops and information stalls. We’ll also be providing 200 free carbon monoxide alarms to households that don’t currently have a working alarm.  

Upskilling the Mencap Worthing team

We’re training another 10 Mencap Worthing colleagues and volunteers on energy safeguarding services to expand the support they’re able to provide to adults with a disability in West Sussex. The training covers how to identify a household in fuel poverty, how to help households stay safe from carbon monoxide and how to describe the benefits of joining the Priority Services Register. 

How to get involved

Accessing the My Network service

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients in West Sussex to the My Network Energy Advice service by emailing the My Network team

If you live in West Sussex and think you may benefit from this service, you’re welcome to attend a drop-in session at Buddys in Worthing or you can contact the My Network team

Becoming a partner

You can find out more about working with Worthing Mencap by emailing

People with a learning disability, autism and other additional needs often require extra time and help to access the energy related support available to them. Worthing Mencap’s partnership with SGN will allow us to reach those across West Sussex in vital need of this support, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.

Richard DeNiese

Charity Director, Worthing Mencap