Centres-for-Warmth.jpgOur Centres for Warmth support people who are living in vulnerable situations keeping them warm, safe, and connected. The project is based on identifying and partnering with local charities in areas of high deprivation, fuel poverty, and risk to carbon monoxide poisoning, who are located close to areas where we are carrying out mains replacement work.

Our charity partners will possess community centres that are positioned at the heart of their community, promoting togetherness and social interaction. Our partnership provides community centres with funding, resources, and training. Enabling charities to expand the service they offer to vulnerable households, offering trusted advice and be a lifeline for many.


How are they funded?

The centres are funded using funds from the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA).
 
The VCMA is a five-year monetary fund that has been allocated to us and the other Gas Distribution Networks, NGN, SGN and Wales & West Utilities, by Ofgem to spend on projects focused on vulnerability and carbon monoxide safety initiatives that go beyond our day-to-day activities. You can find more about the VCMA and the projects we are working on here.
 
Centres for Warmth is one of our largest VCMA projects offering support to some of the most deprived areas across our network. This funding allows for expert local advisors to provide financial, energy efficiency and gas safety advice, and purchase hundreds of slow cookers.

Where are our centres located?

Our first Centres for Warmth were opened in Manchester, Liverpool, and Halton in July 2021. Since then, we have engaged with 200 community centres across our network, and have partnerships based in the following areas:​​​​​​​

We are currently in the process of setting up many with more centres across the Northwest, East Midlands, and West Midlands. 
 
Find out where our Centres for Warmth are here

What are the aims of the project?

Working with trusted local community centres who are able to identify what their customers need most locally and making that happen. Many are already offering vital services such as food
pantries, job clubs, and support with benefit claim applications. However, these centres were unable to offer essential advice on home energy efficiency, carbon monoxide safety and the Priority Services Register. The project allows us provide resources and training to support the centres on these areas allowing them to increase their provision and build these into their suite of existing services.
 
We are also offering much more varied support and activities depending on the local needs, such as slow cooker lessons on how to make nutritious meals and extra-circular activities for children.

What has the project delivered so far?

Since July 2021, we have invested in excess of £4.3m into our Centres For Warmth and the project has provided more than 254,940 services across our footprint, generating a total social value of £154,496,778.
 

Category Number of customers
Energy advice                34,564
Benefits and debt advice 17,791
Carbon monoxide advice 94,637
Slow cookers distributed 1,942
PSR awareness 68,813
PSR registrations 12,190


*statistics for project deliverables: last updated 31st September 2023

What’s the longer-term plan?

We plan to continue working with existing charities to expand the support currently offered through the Centres for Warmth, as well as engaging with new charities in areas of need.
 
We will continue to work with our partners to make sure the services offered through the Centres for Warmth programme are modified to meet the changing demands of the current cost of living and fuel crisis.
 
It is our ambition to have 325 Centres for Warmth across our network by 2026. If you are a community centre or and are interested in working with us to become a Centre for Warmth, please complete the form below.
 
If you are unsure if you are located within our network you can find out by entering your postcode here.

Interested in becoming a Centre for Warmth?

Do you know a community centre that would like to be a part of our Centre for Warmth programme?

Click below to learn more about the programme, our entry requirements and how to apply.

Apply to be a Centre for Warmth