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Mansfield Fuel Bank shortlisted for award

Posted onPosted on 18th Jan

Mansfield District Council has been shortlisted for an award after the success of a scheme that helped residents struggling with their fuel bills.

Mansfield Fuel Bank involves the council working with the Fuel Bank Foundation to offer energy payment support to residents on pre-payment meters who have been or are in danger of being cut off.

Since launching in February 2020 until November 2023, it has issued 366 fuel vouchers supporting 1,045 residents, 415 of them children.

The effectiveness of the scheme has led to it reaching the final of the Building Communities Awards in the category of Best Use of an EEM Charitable Donation. The winner will be announced on 15th March at a ceremony in Leicester.

The annual awards are run by EEM, which is a not-for-profit procurement consortium set up to drive cost and efficiency savings in the public sector.

The fuel bank is available to Mansfield district residents on prepayment meters who have already been disconnected from their gas or electric supply or are in their emergency credit.

They can self-refer to the scheme by submitting meter readings to the council or be referred by the council itself or its partners, including Citizens Advice, food banks, housing associations and community groups.

Those identified as being in fuel crisis and in danger of being disconnected from their gas or electricity supplies are offered emergency fuel vouchers to ensure they can keep their heating and lights on while the scheme works with them to try to find a more long-term solution.

Residents receiving support are also signposted to the district’s FOOD (Food on Our Doorstep) Clubs, where they can buy affordable provisions, and to other organisations deemed relevant such as mental health and debt support.

Some are also offered a financial assessment to ensure they are receiving all the benefits they could be entitled to, or to receive extra help on debt management.

The Mansfield Fuel Bank continues to operate and offers beyond what the government’s Household Support Fund scheme has offered means tested benefits claimants with support to help pay for fuel and food during the cost of living crisis.

Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “The EEM funding has allowed us to continue to support residents who have experienced fuel poverty.

“So many Mansfield families and vulnerable households continue to be in this sorry situation where they are having to choose between heating or eating. And many of those affected by those decisions are children.

“As a council with housing responsibilities, we will do whatever is in our power and capacity to help those affected by fuel poverty while this cost of living crisis is ongoing.

“We encourage anyone cut off or having to turn off their heating during winter because of the cost to seek help and advice rather than suffer.”

In the 2019 Multiple Deprivation Indices, Mansfield was ranked as the 46th most deprived area out of 317 local authorities in England.

The district is estimated to have 7,099 households living in fuel poverty (about 14.5% of Mansfield households) which is higher than both the regional average of 14.2% and the national average of 13.2%.

Residents can find out more about support available in the district at