Canning Town charity’s project tackles fuel poverty

West Ham MP Lyn Brown launched a new project with charity Community Links to provide advice and support for people struggling with fuel bills.

As part of it, two specialist fuel debt advisors work full time, helping Newham residents to cut their bills through simple actions and education. They also help people whose debts have risen out of control to negotiate with the energy companies.

The project involves the Bromley-by-Bow centre and is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust. It was launched at Community Links’ head office on Barking Road, where Lyn Brown MP joined representatives from Newham Council, local housing associations and other charities to hear how the project could benefit their communities.

Lyn Brown MP said: “Every week I have people come to me and say they are struggling to pay the bills. It is a real problem for people in Newham where one in fifteen households are in fuel poverty.

“That’s why it’s so important people can get specialist fuel debt advice and information on energy efficiency.”

The Recorder is backling the campaign.

Christine Tate, from British Gas said: “We know that many families and businesses in East London are feeling the pinch of recession. This is why we want to bring more support to people in their local communities and help them cope in these difficult times. Our advice service is open to everyone who is worried about their finances - not only British Gas customers.

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Most major energy suppliers donate to charitable trusts that help families unable to pay their bills. Often customers only need to fill in a form and show that they will not fall back into debt once they’ve received help. The British Gas Energy Trust is one of these bodies, and is funding Community Links’ work. The free advice is available to all Newham residents. To get in touch call (020) 7473 2270 or email them at