Monday 22 May
13:00 — 13:45
Past Event

Cost of living event series

A fortnightly cost of living event series from the Centre For Excellence in Community Investment connecting our networks of community investment colleagues with expert speakers in the areas of energy, food, income maximisation, hardship funds, mental health, and a range of other issues related to supporting residents through the cost of living crisis.

Below you can find the recording of each session, speaker presentations and other useful resources.

Session 1: Tackling fuel poverty with National Energy Action

Session 1 was chaired by Lucy McGovern, Orbit. She was joined by Bethany Steer from National Energy Action and shares tips from residents and resources for colleagues.

Session 2: Switching utility providers to save money with Pocket Power

Pocket Power work with housing associations, offering a bespoke service to residents to help them switch utility providers and save on a range of household bills, as well as debt advice and more!

Session 3: Accessing warm spaces over winter with Warm Welcome Network

Sim Dendy, Founder of Warm Welcome Space shares how the project came to fruition as well as insights into the wealth of activities and resources that are linked to the Warm Welcome Spaces.

Session 4: How Hyde’s Cost of Living and UC tools can benefit your residents

Maggie Houghton,  Impact & Service Development Lead, The Hyde Foundation, demonstrates their useful Universal Credit and Cost of Living tools and how they can be re-branded for your organisation to support your residents.

Session 5: Financial scams, loan sharks, and affordable credit

We hear from Temi Odesanya and Niall Alexander from Fair4AllFinance about:

  • Insights on cost of living and our interventions in response to the crisis
  • Findings from our illegal money lending research that is due in Jan
  • Current market insights

Session 6: How AI can help you signpost more effectively, with Home Group

Abbie Peel, Strategy and Innovation Manager at Home Group, shares how they are using AI to signpost and support residents effectively and quickly as they face increased challenges due to the cost of living crisis.

Session 7: What support do residents need currently, with the Resident Voice Index

Resident Voice Index present their new initiative, Community Action Plans, which brings together the insights from their report into a clear step-by-step guide for residents and housing associations to take action on the issues that matter right now.

Session 8: Launching the Fuel Fund 2023 and a new fuel poverty booklet

The final event of the recent cost of living event series from the Centre For Excellence in Community Investment, and we’re excited to be launching two new initiatives, both of which are focused on fuel poverty:

  1. The 2023 Fuel Fund
  2. Your guide to keeping warm on a budget

Resources from the events

Session 1: Fuel poverty - NEA presentation slides

Thank you to Bethany Steer, Project Development Manager at National Energy Action for sharing top tips for residents to save energy and stay warm over winter, their free training offer for frontline staff, and speak about their work with housing associations, such as their fuel poverty and energy advice service which they provide to Orbit residents.

Session 2: Pocket Power - Louis Holliday's presentation

Louis' slides sharing Pocket Power's information and tips on saving money on utility bills.

Session 2: Pocket Power -Read University of Bristol Poverty Premium Overview

In the UK the poverty premium, the idea that the poor pay more for essential goods and services is of concern for low-income families. This study by The University of Bristol reflects markets and household behaviour as it exists today and explores how many low-income households are affected by the poverty premium.

Session 2: Pocket Power - Turn 2 Us Benefits Calculator

Use the Turn 2 Us free Benefits Calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim. In the last year over 2 million calculations have been made by people looking for information they deserve and need.

Session 2: Pocket Power - Money Saving Expert Government Energy Support Table

With energy bills at record highs and various support options available to claim, it can be hard to keep track of what is available and who qualifies for what. Money Saving Expert have compiled this Government Energy Support Table to take some of the stress out of what is already a stressful situation.

Session 2: Pocket Power - Nesta Guide to reducing boiler flow

Read more about how changing settings on combination boilers can save 10 million households an average of £112 a year each. This would cutt a total of £1 billion from energy bills and save the Treasury £500 million.

Session 3: Warm Welcome Spaces - Presentation

Download Sim Dendy, Warm Welcome Spaces, presentation slides

Session 4: Hyde UC and Cost of Living tools - Presentation

Download Maggie Houghton, The Hyde Foundation, presentation slides

Session 3: Warm Welcome Spaces - Find a Warm Welcome Space

Warm Welcome Spaces aren't only for warmth but places to build and strengthen community - find the closest ones in your local area!

Session 4: Hyde Tools - UC Helper Tool

Developed with our customers and frontline staff, with support from Catalyst and The National Lottery, Hyde's Universal Credit tool is free for any organisation to adapt, use and promote under their branding as:

- Self-help tool for residents
- An in-pocket guide for non-specialist staff

Available in numerous different languages, the tool is perfect for easing what can be a stressful process for those whose mother tongue isn't English, along with accessibility features that permit the user to adjust the interface to suit them.

Session 4: Hyde Tools - Cost of Living Helper Tool

Like the UC Helper Tool, Hyde's Cost of Living Helper Tool is free for any organisation to adapt, use & promote under their branding to be used as a self-help tool for residents or an in-pocket guide for non-specialist staff. There are also accessibility features built into the app so users can adjust the interface to their needs!

Session 5: Fair4AllFinance - Sustainable tenancies through an affordability crisis

Download this one page explainer on 'Sustainable tenancies through an affordability crisis' that includes a detailed appendix of resources.

Session 5: Fair4AllFinance - Download the presentation

Download Temi and Niall's presentation from the event which provides insights and knowledge regarding financial scams, loan sharks and affordable credit.

Session 6: Home Group - Presentation

Download Abbie's presentation on how Home Group are using AI in the form of chatbots to ensure they can quickly and effectively support their residents as they face increased challenges due to the cost of living crisis.

Session 7: MRI - Presentation

Download Doug Sarney's presentation on the Resident Voice Index report

Session 8: HACT - Fuel fund 2023 presentation

Download the presentation on this years Fuel Fund

Session 8: Northern Ireland Network - Your guide to staying warm on a budget guide

Download the guide to share with your residents

Session 8: Northern Ireland Network - presentation

Download the Northern Ireland Network's presentation on how they put the booklet together using input from residents, colleagues and sector specific experts.

Resources from The Centre

Continue collaborating

The Centre hosts a number of geographic and thematic networks that meet regularly to discuss priorities and network. The main purpose of our networks is to:

- Share information and good practice
- Network
- Hear from expert speakers
- Explore collaboration and partnerships

Each network hosts regular meetings and has its own online collaboration space on Basecamp.

The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment - Cost of living resources list

We’ve also pulled together a growing list of partners and resources with advice and support for residents that you can download below.

Impact measures and cost of living

Through our collective impact measurement work we're tracking the impact of the cost of living crisis on your residents and organisations.

 You can find more details on the measures we’re capturing and how to submit your figures via the link below!

Let's talk

If you’ve got a question about the Racial Equality Group, the Centre networks, Basecamp, or a general query, get in touch with our HACT Head of Communities and Projects, Rebecca Rieley.

Get in touch