Categories
Advice

Advice to help manage your energy bills

Citizens Advice in West Sussex is offering appointments to specifically give advice around energy, from helping you understand your bills to advice on how you can reduce your costs as well as the help available to you. If you or someone you know is on a low income, vulnerable or has a health condition, you could benefit from this service. 

You can book a free energy advice appointment with Citizens Advice’s fantastic team. Either email energyadvice@westsussexcab.org.uk or call 0808 278 7969.  

In the meantime, here’s some quick hints and tips from Citizens Advice on ways to help reduce the cost of energy and the amount of energy you use.

  1. Use your heating controls more effectively, such as thermostats, radiator valves and timers. You can save £100 per year by only heating your home when you really need it.
  2. Use energy efficient lightbulbs – this can save £50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
  3. Turn off appliances instead of leaving them on standby – this can save £30 each year.
  4. Switch your provider for one that gives you a better tariff. You can check whether you can get a better rate yourself by using the Citizens Advice comparison tool.
  5. You can apply for grants and support from your supplier and also from the Government.
  6. Get in touch with Citizens Advice to get expert, friendly help.
Categories
Advice Local info

Add yourself to the Priority Register Service

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register, although some share with each other.We recommend that people who may be vulnerable or at risk during severe weather should be on a Priority Services Register. Parts of the UK have recently had severe weather – our turn may be coming! Friends and relatives – or us, here at SSW – can assist those who may be in need of a bit of help to register. Each operator can be contacted online or by phone. Power cuts don’t happen very often but if the electricity or water supply network is damaged or develops a fault, engineers work around the clock 24/7 to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible. Being on a Priority Services Register will ensure that extra support will be received if the customer experiences an outage. Support is likely to include:

  • A priority number that you can call 24 hours a day
  • Text and voice message alerts, letting you know when they are aware of a large power cut in your area or should your water supply be interrupted
  • Tailored support if needed such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping your friends and relatives updated
  • Where possible they will send you text and voice messages when severe weather is expected, to help you prepare
  • In certain scenarios they may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel
  • For complex power cuts, community welfare teams provide on-site support which includes hot drinks, hot meals, a Wi-Fi connection and charge points.

OFGEM has a summary at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/getting-extra-help-priority-services-register, and this includes help in finding the suppliers in your area. As various energy suppliers and network operators are active in Sussex, the following are the ones who cover most of the county, but there are some others. If you try to register with the wrong operator they will usually steer you in the right direction.ElectricityUK Power Networks – most of the SE of England https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/power-cut/priority-services/about-the-priority-services-registerSSEN – parts of the West of Sussex https://www.ssen.co.uk/PriorityServices/WaterSouthern Water https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/join-our-priority-services-registerSouth East Water https://www.southeastwater.co.uk/get-help/help-for-priority-customersThank you for helping to keep Sussex safe.

Categories
Advice

Are you entitled to Attendance Allowance?

Did you know that you may be entitled to Attendance Allowance?

You can get Attendance Allowance if

  • you’ve reached State Pension age and
  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness) and your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own safety.

Attendance Allowance is not means tested.

It takes 25 days to process the claim for attendance allowance which is paid at two different rates. Lower rate is £60 per week and the higher rate is £89.60.

Jackie Brownlee at Sight Support Worthing is able to help you complete the application form so if you think you may be eligible and would like to know more or get help from Jackie, please give us a call on the usual office number 01903 235782.

Categories
Advice

Blind Person’s Allowance

Blind Person’s Allowance is added to your yearly personal allowance. The allowance is £2520 for 2021/2022.

You can claim if you are registered as blind or severely sight impaired with your local council, or if you have a certificate.

Jackie Brownlee at SSW is able to help you complete the application form so if you think you may be eligible and would like to know more or get help from Jackie, please give us a call on the usual office number 01903 235782.

Categories
Advice Service

Need help with a PIP application or benefits form?

If you need help with a PIP or benefits application, we can help. Jackie, a member of the SSW team (you can read about her here), has lots of experience of completing PIP applications and benefit forms, and would be delighted to help you too.

All you need to do, in the first instance, is contact the SSW office by emailing info@sswcharity.org.uk or calling us on 01903 235782.

Categories
Advice Service technology

Book a tech advice session

We are starting tech appointments on Monday afternoons. This is to give members an opportunity to book a face to face meeting with Ali, our tech adviser. We’re offering both individual or group bookings.

Ali can help you get to grips with the tech that you have and help you get the best out of its accessibility settings. She can also continue to support you afterwards as you learn about your tech device or other piece of equipment.

Here’s some of the ways Ali and the tech support service can help you:

  • Demonstrate new devices
  • Troubleshoot
  • Set up equipment
  • Lending service
  • Discuss appropriate add ons and upgrades

Ali can help with various devices and pieces of tech equipment including

  • iPhone/Android phones
  • computers
  • laptops
  • tablets
  • smart devices
  • low tech such as lights and magnifiers

Plus anything else tech related you might need!

To book your slot, call the Centre on 01903 235782 or email  info@sswcharity.org.uk

Transport to the Centre can be provided if booked in advance.

 

Categories
Advice Events

‘New Year, New Me’ job webinars

RNIB and Blind Ambition have facilitated a series of employment advice webinars for job seekers with sight loss.  

Going under the heading ‘New Year, New Me’, the webinars cover lots of useful topics which you can see below and access on their website here.

(Please be aware some of the videos have a ‘pass code’ allocated to them which is listed under the individual session link.)

  1. Goal Setting
  2. Apprenticeships Advice
  3. Skills Audit
  4. CV Preparation
  5. Why Should I Declare my Visual Impairment?
  6. Personal Branding
  7. Access to Work
  8. Where to Look for Jobs (Part 1)
  9. Where to Look for Jobs (Part 2)
  10. How to Present Yourself
  11. Preparing for Interviews
  12. How To Be Your Own Boss
  13. How to Find a Support Worker
  14. Your Legal Rights When Disclosing Your Disability
  15. Building Resilience

Blind Ambition also has a page with many useful links to resources for job seekers with a visual impairment. Take a look here.