Heat Hero awards
Rachel Kent, Public Health Specialist at Wiltshire Council was nominated by Phillip Morris from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Rachel gained the responsibility for affordable warmth in 2015. She had inherited a fledgling energy service with limited internal resources and budget for delivery. However Rachel embraced the responsibility and within a year she had built partnerships and used her position in public health to build a single-point-of-contact cold homes referral service. The service met most of the NICE guidance and is leading the way in many areas. Rachel has helped support more than 800 people through the cold homes referral process. She also partnered with the Royal College of GPs in Wiltshire and over 20 GP practices are already signed up to make referrals. In partnership with others, including the Centre for Sustainable Energy, she brought in £300,000 of energy efficiency and cold homes support. She delivered joint initiatives internally at the council to tackle fuel poverty. She also created an energy advice section for the adult social care database at the council to further integrate health with energy provision.
The Heat Heroes Awards aim to recognise individuals who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to help people living in fuel poverty in their local community. This can be through work or through voluntary activities outside of the workplace. The scheme is run by National Energy Action in partnership with ScottishPower.
Not-for-profit organisations including local authorities, health and social care agencies, voluntary and statutory agencies and community groups were eligible to apply for the award. Fifteen winners were chosen for this year and will be presented with their awards at the House of Commons in early September.