Despite having £1.7m in funding to help residents in fuel poverty, Better Homes Yorkshire has described how it is struggling with the uptake of the scheme in Barnsley; and has called on the whimsical words of Ian McMillan to offer some poetic persuasion.
Through the Better Homes Barnsley scheme, in partnership with Barnsley Council, government funding is currently available to support local people by installing free of charge gas central heating.
By fitting an A rated combi boiler and radiators those at risk of fuel poverty, Better Homes Yorkshire is hoping more households in Barnsley will be in a position to avoid the numerous health risks associated with cold homes, while saving hundreds of pounds in utility bills every year.
The Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, has offered his support to the organisation in an effort to raise awareness of the £1.7m pot of money which is available through the Government’s Central Heating Fund. He has penned a poem, aptly titled ‘No need to shiver’* urging anybody struggling to keep a home warm to get in touch.
According to official figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, some 9,421 households in Barnsley are living in fuel poverty as a result of the poor energy efficiency of housing, coupled with rising fuel prices and low levels of household income.
Steve Batty, Framework Director at Better Homes Yorkshire said: “We’re delighted Ian McMillan has seen the value in what we are doing and offered his support to this scheme. There really isn’t a catch! The health and wellbeing of Barnsley residents is paramount to this project and we desperately want to offer free guidance, support and gas central heating to those that need them most.”
To qualify for the funding, residents must own or privately rent their home, have a household income of less than £20,000 or be in receipt of certain benefits. In addition, the property must not use gas as its main fuel type.
The scheme can also offer free connections to the gas network, if the property is not currently connected, as long as the home is close enough to the gas main.
Residents are urged to act quickly as the closing date to apply for the funding is 30th April.
Better Homes Yorkshire is a partnership between Keepmoat, Willmott Dixon, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and nine of the Local Authorities in the Leeds City Region
No need to shiver
*There’s no need to shiver, no need to freeze
No need to feel your life is on its icy knees,
No need to wear an extra vest under your shirt
No need to sit in a room so cold it makes you hurt;
There’s no need to look at your swirling breath
As the kids complain that they’re frozen half to death
No need to jam window frames with the Barnsley Chron
No need to sit watching TV with cardigans on;
Let me warm you up with this red hot news
There’s lots of steamy options just for you to choose:
No need to sit there like you’re in the freezer box
Wearing shoes and socks and socks and socks and socks and socks.
Look up Better Homes Yorkshire: give them a call!
There’s lots of heat for everyone and there’s warmth for all!
NO NEED TO SHIVER
© Ian McMillan