Frontline workers have engaged with hundreds of young families -including mothers with children under the age of five – to offer extra support.
Young Mums’ Support Network (YMSN) partnered with UK Power Networks to ensure residents in Wandsworth, Southwark and Lambeth don’t miss out on free extra support in case of a power cut and help them join the electricity firm’s Priority Service Register.
YMSN worked with local schools in Wandsworth, plus Wandsworth Council and the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce to identify families in need of support through their social care work, children’s centres. and through employers.
Introductory sessions were run with local businesses and other interested parties to explain the register and how it will help their families, before offering a series of drop-in sessions and coffee mornings while children are in school.
The work was supported by social media posts to spread the word about the register. Tom Peyton, commercial director at Young Mums’ Support Network, says: “We created a lot of interest through videos and our social media coverage which increased awareness, but we were most successful where we could actually meet people face-to-face. Sometimes this was complicated by ongoing COVID restrictions in many of our outreach locations, but we continue to work to ensure many people know of the support they can receive.”
Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation at UK Power Networks, comments: “Power cuts do not happen often, but we know they can be an especially worrying time for households in vulnerable circumstances, whether they are ongoing or temporary situations that need a little bit of extra help. The register allows us to direct support where it’s needed.
“Joining the register does not always mean we can restore electricity supplies quicker but helps us target updates and offer additional support if needed, so people can plan their lives while our engineers work on the issue. We can also put them in touch with an expert who can offer free independent advice on energy if they are worried about paying their fuel bills or need help to keep their home warm.”
Over 65s, families with children under five, those who rely on medical equipment or with a disability, people who are hearing, sight or speech impaired, patients leaving hospital and people with any physical or mental health condition are all entitled to join the two million households already registered in London, the South East and East of England.