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The Canopy Housing Project, based in Leeds, has benefitted from a grant of more than £6,000 from the North of England’s gas distributor Northern Gas Networks (NGN).

The organisation will use the grant, from NGN’s Community Promises Fund*, to train volunteers as ‘energy ambassadors’ who will work together with housing tenants to educate them on the best ways of keeping warm, using appliances and avoiding condensation in Victorian properties with solid wall construction. They also hope to produce an educational video in various languages.

Laura Barker, from The Canopy Housing Project, said: “We are thrilled to have been supported by Northern Gas Networks. This funding will not only allow us to educate and inform households on low-incomes but also help those who might be out of work learn valuable skills that will help with their employability.”

Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy at Northern Gas Networks, said: “Northern Gas Networks are really pleased to be able to offer The Canopy Housing Project a grant as part of our Community Promises Fund.

As part of the application the judging panel felt that they offered an innovative project, utilising local volunteers and creating a sustainable impact on the local community.

“As well as the grant we’ll also be supporting The Canopy Housing Project, and the other organisations who have been awarded a grant, with any other support they might need; such as volunteering opportunities or how they can share best practice with one another.

“Community groups, and other local organisations, play a fundamental role in helping to identify and assist those who are in need and I’m very much looking forward to working with them on their exciting projects and their efforts to help make a difference to local people’s lives.”

*The Canopy Housing Project received the grand as part of NGN’s £50,000 Community Promises Fund.

The fund, which is now in its second year, offers grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to third sector organisations and community groups with innovative approaches to delivering sustainable initiatives associated with energy saving, fuel poverty, Carbon Monoxide awareness, raising the profile of the Priority Services Register (PSR) and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects across areas of the North of England.

After applying at the end of last year, the nine projects benefiting from the 2018 funding programme are: Age UK in Gateshead, Citizen Advice in Newcastle, Community Voice FM Ltd in Cleveland, Hartlepower C.I.C. in Hartlepool, Highfield Food Co-op in Keighley, National Energy Action, Stockton and District Advice, Information Service (SDAIS), The Canopy Housing Project in Leeds and Yorkshire Energy Doctor CIC.

The community projects include a whole host of innovative campaigns, from supporting vulnerable people with dementia access the Priority Service Register (PSR) to organising Carbon Monoxide (CO) awareness sessions and provide information on being more energy efficient.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.