“After 7 weeks of hand-washing and asking favours from friends / family, I was finally able to do a load of washing myself. It was great.”
Now that we are halfway through this winter, we can see the days getting longer. February marks 3 months into our Winter Survival Project, and we thought we would just give you a little update on how it’s all going.
We have managed to help over 60 people so far, which is incredible. Gabriella from The Artisan Bazaar has been running our practical makers workshops; making cook bags and draught excluders from recycled materials. Georgina has been running our Energy Advisors drop-in!
We are going to run another Women and Numbers course in March, and at the end of the month Georgina will be running an Energy Champions course! This Energy Champions course will give you all the practical skills and knowhow to understand your energy bills, where draughts are entering your home and mitigate that, how to reduce condensation in the home and know what grants are available for home improvements. It may even lead onto paid work as a freelance energy advisor.
The feedback from Gabriella’s workshops has been fantastic, so positive that we have decided to put more sessions on in February! Here is what some of the women have had to say about the workshops.
“I was impressed with what I made and surprised at how well it turned out using recycled fabrics. It was an education. I enjoyed it.”
Along with learning a practical skill, the women have commented on how lovely it has been to be in a space with likeminded women, having the time and space to connect with each other and how valuable providing a safe space for women to come together and share their experiences. We know that running your own business can sometimes be isolating, making these kinds of environments even more important.
We have also seen many women in the community come into our Energy Advisors drop-in service. Georgina, who runs the sessions, has connected many of our women to LEAP, the Local Energy Advice Partnership. This is a great resource for people to get advice and assistance on how to save money on their energy bills.
I’ve recently got myself referred to LEAP. A knowledgeable and friendly energy advisor came into my home and helped me identify how and where I could cut costs, draught proof and reduce risk of mould and condensation. The service can even offer replacement of white goods, if yours are old and energy guzzlers. It amazed me that this service was free, I was given chimney balloon, some draught proofing under door slips, draught proofing for our letter box and some remote-control plug sockets. All on the same day! My home already feels less draughty, and these non-invasive measures are great for me, living in a rental property.
I feel confident referring anyone who may be struggling with high bills or a cold home.
But, you don’t have to take it from me. One lady who had an energy advisor from LEAP come to her house said that:
“It was fabulous, I actually understand how it [my heating system] all works and don’t feel as ripped off now I that have choice.”
Even though this project may seem a little off-beat for us, the feedback is reflecting how necessary this project is. Practical skills training is help to reduce feelings of isolation, build self-esteem, and increase feelings of autonomy.
The feedback has shown this is allowing women to better manage their own finances, reinforced with our upcoming Women and Numbers in April, and make informed decisions about their own lives.
So, definitely come down and see what is available to you whilst this project is ongoing! Our drop-in service at our offices on a Thursday, 12:30 – 2:30, at our offices in White Cross (742 Cameron House), call our offices at 01524 383846, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out a bit more!