British Gas and Post Office Stop the Silence Pop-Ups
This partnership will see British Gas Energy Trust Energy Debt advisors host in-person one-to-ones with people struggling with energy debt at Post Office locations across UK. 40% of adults will struggle to pay their next bill and of those, over a third (35%) will suffer in silence. The ‘Stop the Silence Pop-Ups’ will offer practical and financial advice in towns and cities across the UK throughout June.
British Gas and Post Office are building on their partnership with a new initiative to support people struggling to pay their energy bills with in-person community pop-ups, which launched Monday 23rd May in Post Offices across the UK.
Financial difficulties with rising energy costs
The rising cost of living means more people are experiencing financial difficulty for the first time. Many people worried about money and energy debt may not know where to turn, or how to take the first step in understanding what support is available.
To address this, the initiative will see British Gas Energy Trust Energy Debt advisors attend local Post Office branches to provide confidential, face to face sessions to anyone in the community seeking either financial or practical advice, with the following locations launching in the first week:
After these, further Stop the Silence Pop Ups across the country will launch over the following 3 weeks, offering walk-ins for those just popping in or on an appointment basis.
British Gas research conducted by YouGov, found that 40% of adults will struggle to pay their next energy bill with more than a third (35%) suffering in silence. The research identified the emotional toll energy debt was causing, with two-thirds (65%) reporting increased anxiety as a result of struggling to pay their energy bills.
A pop-up will be taking place in Bexhill on Sea on Monday 6th June and Wednesday 8th June between 10am-1pm
Support provided with pop-up one-to-one sessions
Jessica Taplin, British Gas Energy Trust Chief Executive said: “Partnering with Post Office, an organisation that remained a constant in our lives even throughout the pandemic, will help provide a lifeline to those communities we know are really struggling.
“The Trust’s mission is to help alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty and being visible in more local, familiar places like Post Office enables us to reach even more people; especially as you don’t have to be British Gas customer to access the help and support offered at these pop ups, or from The Trust itself.
“Our aim is to run these pop ups throughout the summer and potentially beyond this, particularly when the next energy price increase is announced, and even more people might be looking for help.”
The one-to-one sessions will be run by trained Energy Debt advisors from organisations funded through the British Gas Energy Trust and they’re for anyone facing financial hardship and energy debt. Customers will be given a step-by-step overview of the support available to them, signpost them to other organisations who may be able to help, check benefits entitlement and provide energy-saving tips and advice.
Post Office partnering with British Gas Energy Trust
Nick Read, Post Office Chief Executive said: “Millions of people visit our branches each week to pay bills or top up their gas and electricity metres. We know from what Postmasters tell us that there are people really struggling out there to pay their bills and they’re seeing customers come through their door for the first time asking what support is available for bill payments.
“We’re proud to be partnering with British Gas on such an important initiative. We’ll be closely monitoring how helpful people find these new pop-up support centres and encourage anyone who lives close to one and is struggling, to attend a free, private consultation at our branch.”
British Gas Energy Trust is an independent Charitable Trust established and solely funded by British Gas to alleviate the detrimental impact of energy stress on its customers as well as people with other providers. The Trust helps people in – or at risk of – financial hardship make their energy payments and manage their finances through support, education and sound money management.
To find out more about The British Gas Energy Trust Stop the Silence campaign visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/energy/british-gas-energy-trust