A NEW charity dedicated to fighting fuel poverty will be reaching out to a Cumbrian community.

Warmer Communities was first launched in October with the mission of helping those facing fuel poverty.

To try and reach those who may be affected by the issue, the charity will be holding an information outreach event at Longtown Community Centre next Friday.

Fuel poverty, defined by the Government as a household left under the poverty line when it has paid for its energy needs, affects 11 per cent of all households in England, according to the latest statistics.

The charity Warmer Communities is based in Tyneside but covers the whole of the north east and Cumbria.

Working in partnership with Carlisle City Council, it helps those in fuel poverty navigate the complexities of grant-funded assistance to overcome the problem.

Jennifer West, spokeswoman for Warmer Communities and one of the event’s organisers, explained that the wider Carlisle area is a major focus of their current efforts.

“We work under something called the Warmer Communities Carlisle Scheme, which is part of Home Life Carlisle,” said Jennifer.

“We work on providing free advice and funding for people.”

She said that the charity aims to be a complete solution for those experiencing fuel poverty, providing both the advice and the manpower necessary to improve the energy efficiency of a home.

“We get funding for installations as well from the Government,” Jennifer continued.

“We can gain the funding and provide the installation for the measures themselves.

“So if people are eligible for free funding towards these measures, and that could be boilers, it could be insulation, and more recently actually we can offer first time central heating in Carlisle as well, under the Warm Homes Fund,

“We assess everybody on a case-by-case basis. We do all the leg work basically so it’s a nice smooth process for anyone that comes to us.

“And if we can’t help them the idea is that we signpost them to people who can.

“So working with people like Carlisle City Council and other charities as well is really useful.”

At next Friday’s event, which will take place between 11am and 2pm, Jennifer and her colleagues will be joined by other organisations including SSAFA - the armed forces charity.

“The idea is the community can help to get rid of fuel poverty by raising awareness,” said Jennifer.

“We want them to raise awareness create the opportunity for people to speak to each other, and to call out fuel poverty for what it is, as well as learning about the sort of help that’s out there.”

Funding for the event came from National Energy Action, a nationwide charity also dedicated to fighting fuel poverty.