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Launch of Warmer Holmcroft

LaunchHelping Holmcroft residents. Left to right: Denise Atkinson (Energy Assessor), Ian Owen, Beryl Metcalf and Robert Hine (Sustainability Matters). Photo: Alys Griffiths Photography

An exciting new scheme to deliver free energy surveys and advice to households in the Holmcroft area of Stafford has been officially launched. The event, held at the local parish church, St Bertelin's, on 9 November, was attended by members of the local community, representatives from Stafford Borough Council and Stafford & Rural Homes, and members of Sustainability Matters.

Project leader, Beryl Metcalf, described the plan to enlist 50 homes and arrange for a visit by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor. Each household would then receive a report, highlighting measures to save energy and cut fuel bills, and giving information about cheaper tariffs, grants, and special deals as appropriate.

A notable feature of the project is the use of a thermal imaging camera to pinpoint any defects in the building's insulation that might otherwise go unnoticed. Sustainability Matters member Ian Owen explained to the audience how the camera works, and how the colours of the thermal images identify hot spots or cold spots in roofs, walls, and windows.

The project has been funded by Awards for All (part of the Big Lottery) to the tune of nearly £10,000, with another £2000 coming from Stafford Borough Council. There is also support from local company Active Energy Assessors in respect of the thermal imaging.

Help to keep warmer

The energy surveys will be conducted by Denise Atkinson, who introduced herself to the audience, and expressed her delight to be involved with the project. Before qualifying as a Domestic Energy Assessor in 2007, Denise was an area manager for a local NHS trust. She has also been a youth worker, and has experience in managing properties in the private rented sector.Elaine & Beryl

Beryl Metcalf emphasized that "The aim is to reach those people in Holmcroft who are most in need - and these are often the hardest to reach. We want everyone to know that with a bit of help they can keep warmer this winter, and cut their fuel bills into the bargain."

If you live in Holmcroft and wish to take up this offer of FREE energy advice: Phone (01785) 600262 or email: warmerholmcroft@hotmail.co.uk, or text 07806 790332.

Rev'd Elaine Evans (left), Vicar of St Bertelin's Church, signs up to the Warmer Holmcroft scheme, encouraged by Beryl Metcalf of Sustainability Matters