Community Energy Plus News

Cornish charity acknowledged as a ‘Public Health Hero’

Image: Nicola McCheyne accepts award from Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health at the Department of Health

The work of a Truro-based charity to alleviate fuel poverty in Cornwall has been recognised by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health.

Community Energy Plus was nominated for the 2015 Public Health Heroes Awards, which celebrate excellence in public health and wellbeing, by Sarah Newton MP for Truro and Falmouth in recognition for their work to over the past four winters to lead the design, delivery and management of the Winter Wellbeing Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The pioneering programme brings together Cornwall Council, Public Health and almost 30 different organisations from across the public, community, voluntary and private sectors in Cornwall to help support vulnerable people at risk of preventable winter death or hospital admission due to cold, damp homes.

During the winter months, the charity provides the primary contact route to access comprehensive help and referrals to partners’ services. This cross-referral process enables householders and frontline workers to access support from multiple agencies with just one phone call.

Nicola McCheyne, Senior Manager at Community Energy Plus, accepted the charity’s award from Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health at the Department of Health at a reception at the House of Commons Terrace on 3rd March.

Nicola McCheyne commented: “The success of the Winter Wellbeing programme is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the partnership of organisations that we work alongside to deliver a joined-up service for vulnerable people living in cold homes in Cornwall. It was an honour to accept the award on behalf of the partnership and have the opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the achievements of the Winter Wellbeing programme.”

Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “I am delighted that the excellent work of the Winter Wellbeing Programme that makes such a positive difference has been recognised with this prominent national award. I have seen first-hand the difference this programme makes in keeping people healthy and warm”.

Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health at the Department of Health, said “I was delighted to celebrate so many unsung heroes of public health and hear about the difference they are making in their communities. There were many outstanding nominations, with the local pride of MPs and Directors of Public Health evident. I hope the passion and commitment of our winners will inspire the next wave of public health heroes.”