#povertyinwales may be over but the work continues
This blog brings to an end Tackling Poverty Fortnight. In the last two weeks the campaign has highlighted worrying information about how people are affected by poverty combined with inspiring stories about action that is being taken to help.
I am going to end the campaign by focusing on some positive news. Cyd Cymru, a new energy switching initiative, launched last month that may help some of us to reduce our energy bills.
The proportion of our incomes being spent on energy is rocketing. Switching supplier is one way consumers can save money. However, according to Ofgem, the proportions of both gas and electricity consumers who switched supplier in the past year have fallen for the fourth year in succession for gas consumers (by two points to 11%) and for the fifth year for electricity consumers (also by two points, to 12%). Wales has some of the lowest levels of switching energy supplier in the UK. Internet access is a key facilitator for switching. The rate among those with no access is very low (4% for gas; 5% for electricity).
People across Britain – rich and poor – have already benefitted from getting together to buy their energy collectively. By buying energy together, participants of previous collective switching schemes have saved between £60 and £250 per household per year.
The Cyd Cymru scheme is aimed at helping people in Wales to achieve savings in the same way. There is no obligation if you register. You can do so at https://response.questback.com/energysavingtrust/cydcymru2/ or you can call 0800 0935902 to register by phone.
Over the last fortnight the aim of the Wales Co-operative Centre has been to raise the profile of poverty and the damage it causes. We have also wanted to highlight ways in which poverty can be alleviated. The campaign has covered subjects ranging from door step lending to digital inclusion and from education to enterprise. Interest in the campaign has been high with hundreds of tweets, 64 contributors and a written statement of opinion initiated by Ann Jones AM and signed by a number of Assembly Members. Thank you to everyone that has contributed. If you missed any of the daily blogs they can be found on the Wales Co-operative Centre website.
Our work at the Centre involves developing and implementing solutions to tackling poverty. We can only do this successfully by developing strong partnership with others. So please do contact us if you would like to discuss what we might achieve together.
Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre