The ESC’s Home Improvement Grant operates in partnership with Home Improvement and Care and Repair agencies, which provide direct support to selected vulnerable groups. ESC funding means these agencies can ensure those in need can live safely at home, by having essential electrical works undertaken.
The Fire Safety Fund is open to local community services, such as Fire and Rescue, and Trading Standards, as well as other grassroots charities and organisations. Awards support a range of fire prevention initiatives at a local level, to tackle the causes of electrically-related fires.
This year, 29 successful applicants to the Fire Safety Fund shared awards totalling £130,000, with projects ranging from portable electrical appliance testing at car boot sales, to developing an e-learning resource on electrical safety for children aged 10-11. Funding via the Home Improvement Grant was distributed to 26 Care and Repair partners, who received a total of £80,000 for their work with vulnerable groups.
Award ceremonies for successful scheme applicants were recently held in London and Glasgow. Now in their fifth year, the ESC’s funding programmes are part of its integrated approach to raising awareness of electrical safety. Each year, approximately 70 people die and 350,000 are seriously injured as a result of an electrical accident in the home. According to government statistics almost half of all accidental fires in UK homes – over 20,000 each year –are caused by electricity.
‘Our partnership with Home Improvement and Care and Repair agencies means we can make a real difference to many of the most vulnerable in our society,’ explained Phil Buckle, director general of the ESC. ‘And our Fire Safety Fund always delivers an innovative range of projects to raise awareness of electrical fires. By funding grass roots organisations in this way, we can ensure our message of electrical safety is reaching communities through the people they trust – their own ‘home grown’ local organisations.’