Linking energy and wellbeing in Hastings

Warm up at Hastings'  Big Happy Energy Day at Sussex Coast College SUS-160217-121118001
Warm up at Hastings' Big Happy Energy Day at Sussex Coast College SUS-160217-121118001

The first Hastings Big Happy Energy Day has been hailed a success by organisers.

Held on Wednesday (February 17) at Sussex Coast College, Hastings, the event, organised by Energise Sussex Coast, saw dozens of residents get help, with some saving up to £500.

Around 80 people attended the event, described as ‘the first event to link wellbeing and energy in this way’ by its co­ordinators.

The day was dedicated to the memory of Jeremy Birch, Hastings Borugh Council leader until his unexpected death last year.

Speaking before the event, his partner Louise Carlyle said: “I think the idea of piloting this event as a legacy in memory of Jeremy is a great idea.”

She continued: “He had faith in the people to organise themselves and he believed that people could be generous with their time and energy for the benefit of the community.

“He was motivated by his vision of a positive, better future”.

Richard Watson, founder of Energise Sussex Coast, believes the event was definitely successful.

“I think our bill-checking service was probably the most popular attraction there,” he said.

In addition to helping residents see how much they could save by switching providers, Energise Sussex Coast also provided the community with information on how to access help if they were struggling to keep up with household costs.

Mr Watson said they had already started thinking about how they could build on this year’s triumph moving forward: “Next year, we’ll have more advertising.”

Richard added it was good to see representatives from so many organisations engaging with the community.

“When you have companies like Southern Water and Amicus Horizon there, and they’re networking with groups like Brighton Housing Trust and Age UK it is so positive.”

Debbie Gibbs, commercial manager at Sussex Coast College, said: “It’s really great to see the community come together to support one another.

“We’re always keen to support the local community.”

The event was organised to coincide with the National Warm Homes Campaign, which is run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of fuel poverty, and help provide solutions to those struggling to heat their homes affordably.

Energise Sussex Coast also run a regular Energy Clinic at Hastings Town Hall each Tuesday from 9.30am to ­2.45pm.

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