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Keeping Warm This Winter

In response to the energy crisis, WWCE launched a new project during the winter of 2022/23 to support households struggling with energy costs. ‘Keeping Warm This Winter’ was a community-based initiative providing pop-up ‘Energy Advice Cafes’ in and around Melksham and Purton. 

Hosted by community organisations and groups working with the people likely to be most concerned about rising energy bills, WWCE’s carbon reduction champion Jessica Thimbleby spoke to 360 residents at 16 events.  The sessions demonstrated practical, low-cost energy efficiency measures people could take, and conversations covered a range of topics, including draught-proofing, reducing damp and mould, and insulating homes.

The project’s success even attracted the attention of Chippenham MP and secretary of state for science, innovation and technology Michelle Donelan, who joined the WWCE team for its final session at Melksham Library.

Feedback from the organisations involved was overwhelmingly positive:

“Nearly everyone learned new things and where to find the information {they needed}.  The practical displays piqued most interest and conversations” John, That Meeting Space

“The Energy Cafe was very helpful to people in our group.  People have been talking about what they can do to reduce energy bills which is good.  It was very useful and informative.” Kay, Foodbank Manager 

“Lots of tangible things for people to see, touch and learn about – it was practical advice, real “hands on” examples.” Teresa, Melksham Without Parish Council

The positive impacts of this exciting new venture have encouraged WWCE to continue helping Wiltshire residents reduce their energy use and carbon emissions going forward. WWCE was grateful to partner with the Rural Communities Energy Support Network, run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy to support delivery of this project.

Thanks to Jess' excellent work, WWCE has been named as a finalist in the Fuel Poverty Action category in the Community Energy England Awards taking place on the 17th November. 

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