RSABI charity reminds farmers of Help for Heating financial support scheme
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With many people in the agricultural industry affected by high energy costs and the cost-of-living continuing to exert significant pressure, this past year RSABI has seen a 55 per cent rise in applications for Help for Heating grants.
Over the course of the 2022/23 financial year RSABI issued £41,000 Help for Heating grants and demand is expected to continue to be strong, according to welfare manager Chris McVey, as many fixed-term energy deals start coming to an end.
The reality is that many farming and crofting people are living in houses which are very old, with property types which can be difficult to insulate properly and costly to heat.
“Our Help for Heating grants are available to farmers, crofters and others working in, or retired from, agriculture who are struggling with the rising costs of heating bills,” said Mr McVey.
“The grants are simple and quick to apply for, with funding starting at £300 available to those spending more than 10 per cent of their household income on heating costs and finding it difficult to afford essentials like food and clothing.”
RSABI is urging people who are struggling to pay to heat their homes to get in touch to find out more about this initiative and the other support services on offer.
“Our team are on hand to take you through the straightforward application process and can advise on other ways we might be able to help too, as well as signposting other organisations which can provide energy efficiency advice for your home.
“In cases where finances have become really difficult, we can very quickly arrange a pre-paid debit card to pay for grocery shopping and we can also arrange purchases where household goods break down and people are struggling to pay for replacement items.”
RSABI also offers ongoing financial support through an Annual Beneficiary scheme, where anyone in need who meets the support criteria can receive regular payments to help top-up their income.
RSABI is also encouraging people in the farming community to look out for others via its #KeepTalking campaign.
“A conversation with those around you could really help us raise awareness of the services on offer to ensure those struggling to stay warm in their homes know that support is available, particularly older people and those living on their own,” said Mr McVey.
“As temperatures drop, it’s more important than ever that we look out for each other to ensure people are keeping warm over the winter months.
“We know there will be many households out there who were managing, but now with the cost-of-living impact, fixed-term energy contracts ending, and increased home energy and input costs, financial pressure is growing which can cause stress and really start to impact on individuals’ mental health.”
Please visit the RSABI website to find out more or, to chat to a case officer, call our freephone Helpline on 0808 1234 555 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and calls won’t show up on phone bills.
All enquiries are completely confidential.