Rosie – National Heat Hero 2016

Rosie – National Heat Hero 2016

Beat the Cold is delighted to announce that one of our advisers, Rosie Thorpe has become a ‘National Heat Hero, one of only 16 to achieve this accolade in 2016. The awards are presented annually by Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, sponsored this year by Scottish Power. Says Beat the Cold Trustee, Michaela Fyson, who nominated Rosie for this award “I am delighted that Rosie’s  achievements in helping vulnerable people across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire escape from fuel poverty have been nationally recognised. Rosie has worked for Beat the Cold for 10 years, the last three on our project Changes4Warmth in partnership with mental health charity Changes Health and Wellbeing.  It is for this work that she received her award.  Her expertise, enthusiasand warm personality has enabled her to connect with people experiencing poor mental health when she visits them in their homes.

Fuel poverty and cold homes can exacerbate both mental and physical poor health,hindering recovery.  One person that Rosie helped was a recovering alcoholic suffering from acute depression.  Rosie helped her with a number of things.  She gave her advice on how to minimise consumption, made sure she was on the best fuel tariff and applied for a Warm Homes Discount, saving £140 and she also supplied, fitted and demonstrated how an energy monitor could help monitor fuel consumption, a great reassurance to someone in recovery. Rosie is the second member of Beat the Cold’s staff to become a national Heat Hero,in 2014 Jules Hill was similarly recognised.   This is a great tribute to the effective way Beat the Cold tackles fuel poverty.

As the only specialist local charity with dedicated, qualified and experienced staff, Beat the Cold is in a unique position to ensure that people in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and surrounding areas are able to keep warm and well each winter.

Rosie was presented with her award at a ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 7 September 2016.  She can be seen in the accompanying photos with Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, President of NEA;  Mark Murphy, Head of Commercial and Obligation Delivery, Scottish Power;  Michaela Fyson, Beat the ColdTrustee and Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs, NEA.


The second photo is of Rosie and Gill Wilshaw, Service and Operations Manager, Beat the Cold.


For further information please contact:

Beat the Cold’s Office 01782 683813   email:

Or Michaela Fyson 01782 723775

How to look after yourself this winter

There are lots of ways that you can help yourself this winter to avoid making yourself ill, and to keep your energy bills in check.

  • Make sure that your gas appliances are safe. Your boiler should have a safety check every year, if you’re a tenant, this is the responsibility of your landlord – but you must chase it up if you know that this is overdue.
  • Make sure occupied rooms are warm enough. You should be keeping your occupied rooms at 18 degrees, as if the room is colder then you risk making yourself ill. Even if you’re wrapped up warm, you must still heat the room rather than add extra layers.
  • Make sure you have plenty of hot drinks, and at least one hot meal a day. Make sure you eat well – a varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help you fight off minor ailments and make you feel energised.
  • If you’re going outside, make sure you wear light layers rather than one heavy jumper or coat. Layers trap air, keeping you warm – and you can always remove one if you feel too hot. Make sure that you wear good quality boots or shoes with a good grip.
  • Make sure that your mobile phone is charged and has credit, so that if you need to get hold of someone in an emergency – or if you need to call Beat the Cold then you can.

Meet Beat the Cold’s advisors Rosie and Jules

Beat the Cold are proud to announce that they now have two advisors Rosie and Jules who have worked really hard to understand all the legal aspects of fuel debt. The training was delivered by the CAB, and cements Beat the Cold’s unique ability to provide quality, honest, impartial and free advice. We welcome enquiries from those in Staffordshire who might have concerns about energy costs, or feel that they would appreciate some guidance.

BTC Jules and Rosie

From a medical student on placement with us

We recently received a great email from AJ Odulaja. Here is part of his text:

Thank you for allowing me to spend time with you at Beat the Cold. It is a fantastic organisation, and I really felt I gained a strong appreciation for the important work that you all do, I appreciate the time you all took to make me feel welcomed and comfortable

 A J Odulaja was one of the second year medical students who spent time with our staff and clients, on placement from Keele University School of Medicine. Like his colleagues, he now has to produce a poster to describe his time with us.

Beat the Cold shortlisted for Ashden Awards

Beat the Cold shortlisted for Ashden Awards

Stoke-on-Trent charity Beat the Cold is on the shortlist for a prestigious 2015 Ashden Award. The Awards are a globally recognised measure of excellence in the field of sustainable energy and celebrate the organisations that Ashden considers to be leading the way in this field. Beat the Cold is one of only eight UK organisations to be shortlisted.

Beat the Cold helps around 1,300 Staffordshire households each year, easing the ill-health, anxiety and misery that comes with fuel poverty. The charity arranges home repairs and the installation of measures such as draught proofing and loft insulation, as well as helping families to access discounts and negotiating with energy suppliers on their behalf.

Martin Chadwick, Chief Officer of Beat the Cold, said: “All the staff at Beat the Cold are very excited to be shortlisted for the most prestigious award in energy saving – it would be a huge boost and would be the recognition that they deserve for all their hard work.”

The Ashden Award winners of 2015 will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 11 June. Speakers at previous ceremonies have included Sir David Attenborough and HRH Prince Charles.

Winners collect a prize of up to £20,000 and benefit from the prestige of entering an elite group of Ashden alumni, which can give a huge boost to their chances of attracting new funding and customers. Ashden also gives winners tailored business support and provides networking opportunities to help them to scale up their work.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Founder Director, said: “At Ashden we focus on rewarding sustainable energy game-changers that are addressing two of the most pressing challenges of our time: climate change and poverty. This year our 21 finalists from four continents are dramatically cutting carbon emissions, boosting local economies, reducing poverty and making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Ashden Awards web site

Beat the Cold congratulate the other short-listed agencies, in particular the Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE) at Islington Borough Council.

Need a warmer home? Ring us now

Need a warmer home? Ring us now


We urge anyone struggling to heat their home to get in touch with us now. We aim to help people stay where they want to be – warm and well at home. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4.30 pm, either 0800 389 2258 or 01782 683813. Outside these hours callers can leave a message for staff to call them back.

Funding for heating repairs is only available until 31 March, and funding is limited, so ring us now to see if we can help.

We can help with:

  • heating repairs and replacement
  • switching to the best fuel company and tariff
  • checking bills and meters
  • negotiating with fuel companies
  • finding discounts and extra support

Our expert advisers are out every day, talking to people in their homes, helping them to afford the warmth they need. Only last week we helped a client to save £540 a year on their fuel bills.

“For some households, losing heating and hot water is a crisis that can damage health and everyone from a frail older person, perhaps living on their own, to young families on a low fixed budget,” explains Martin Chadwick, Chief Officer of the charity since it was formed in 1999. “When their heating and hot water fail, they need help quickly from an organisation they can trust and afford. Beat the Cold can help with the cost of repairs where health is at risk from a cold home.”

Supported by Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Western Power Distribution, we source reliable contractors and can often fund most or all of the cost of the repairs. We have also purchased extra emergency heaters to lend to households whose heating has broken down.

NHS community services agree that a warm home is a major factor in keeping people well and preventing admission to hospital.

“Lack of heat and power can have a major impact on health outcomes, particularly for people with long term conditions,” explains Rose Goodwin, interim Director of Nursing and Quality at Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust which provides health and social care in people’s homes and communities. “We are encouraging our staff to signpost people at risk to organisations like Beat the Cold who really can help transform what can be a bleak situation. Getting help as early as possible is so important.

Recently, Beat the Cold helped a woman in her 80’s by lending a heater and fixing two faults with her central heating. Another local resident suffering with terminal cancer was also quickly helped to get their heating and hot water working again which was essential to remaining at home.

“We can make the difference between having to stay in hospital and going home.”

Steelite ‘give something back’

Steelite ‘give something back’

All of us at Beat the Cold were encouraged by a surprise donation from the ‘Giving Something Back’ community fund at Steelite International. Our charity was nominated by Margaret Dunleavy in the Dish Cell department and the cheque was presented by their ’employee champion’, Angela Hill.

We will put the donation towards helping households whose health is at risk because they have inadequate heating or a failed hot water system.

It is great to be nominated by employees at a local business. Thank you, again, for your support.