As winter approaches, steps are being taken to signpost individuals, families, and businesses to support available to deal with the costs of living during the colder months.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Kate Lord-Brennan MHK, said:
‘Our goal is to raise awareness of the various support options available by packaging them together as a central online resource for the community. We also continue to provide a free telephone support line. I encourage anyone looking for help or support to explore the various initiatives that are available to them.’
Launched last year, the Isle of Man Help for Households website has been updated as the place to find advice and recommendations on staying warm and well this winter, particularly for older people and those at risk. It features a comprehensive directory for those seeking support or who wish to raise welfare concerns. There’s also guidance for businesses around the scope and range of schemes available through the Department for Enterprise.
The Winter Help Advice Line is designed for those who may not use the internet or have access to a computer. The dedicated phone line can be contacted on +44 1624 686262 and is available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
The Energy Efficiency Scheme offers eligible households free energy-saving materials and devices, including loft insulation, radiator valves, and draught excluders. This initiative currently allows individuals to access items worth up to £750. More than 3,000 homes have already taken up energy saving measures available under the scheme.
The Manx Lottery Trust is ready to provide community organisations with between £300 and £2,500, through its Small Grants Scheme, to increase the provision of community spaces. The initiative enables charities, local authorities and community groups to provide warm and welcoming spaces in which people can socialise while reducing the burden of energy costs at home.
South Douglas MHK and trustee of the Manx Lottery Trust, Sarah Maltby MHK, said:
‘Although the ‘Community Warm Spaces Fund’ will not be available this winter, projects to bring people together in a similar way may be eligible for funding from Manx Lottery Trust Grant Programmes. I would encourage any group or person looking to bring the community together this winter, to review the guidelines for each grant or contact the MLT team for advice and support.’