Knowsley based Livv Housing Group recently hired a chip van for the day and invited customers in Prescot down for ‘chips and chat’. Joined by Citizens Advice Knowsley to offer energy advice, the event aimed to connect with and support its customers through the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis.
The Livv team was on hand to discuss the support and services they can offer and also gave out warm bags containing blankets, hot water bottles, hats, gloves and thermal mugs.
Citizens Advice Knowsley offered advice, guidance and support around energy efficiency, household bills and available grants.
With the cold weather, the dilemma of trying to keep warm, coupled with the rising cost of energy bills, is a challenge that many households are facing.
Over the winter, Livv has been out in the community providing customers across the borough with the same support.
Over 600 warm bags have been given out so far with many customers booked in with Citizens Advice Knowsley to support them with further energy saving measures such as LED bulbs, draught excluders and radiator panels.
The project is part of the energy efficiency element of Livv’s cost-of-living support programme for customers.
The housing association is currently carrying out a carbon reduction retrofit programme and is aiming for all its properties to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2025.
Other elements of its cost-of-living support programme includes supporting customers with household bills, access to healthy and affordable food and access to better banking and low-cost regulated credit.
Amanda Newton, Executive Director of Customer Insight at Livv Housing Group, said:
“This winter has been tough for many households and families. Our cost-of-living support programme has been developed to help our customers navigate the financial pressures of the crisis with practical advice and help that’s seen more people with warmer homes, lower bills and access to good quality affordable food. Over the past 18 months, we’ve worked together with our partners to run a whole host of projects, programmes, events and activities to support those who need it most.
“The value of talking to our customers, the people who are living the experience, can’t be underestimated. We loved the idea of ‘chips and chat’ and the number of people who came along tells us it was a great success. We’re pleased that we were able to meet and speak to some of our customers who perhaps don’t contact us as often.
“Our teams are continually talking to our customers and communities about what’s happening and where we can help. Getting their feedback means that we’re able to provide the right support when they need it.”
Livv is working with a social enterprise business, Pocket Power, to help customers make long-term savings by switching to better, cheaper deals on a range of bills and securing discounts, grants, and addressing utility debt.
It’s also used recommendations from Pocket Power to supply customers with food and fuel vouchers to support with everyday living and make sure that families stay healthy and safe in their homes.
To support with access to food, Livv has partnered with Alchemic Kitchen to deliver a food-based development programme. ‘Food in the Community’ increases customers’ access to healthy and affordable food, connectivity and improved mental health. Projects include cookery courses, teaching people how to cook and budget, and a fruit and veg bus that visits customer locations each week.
For more information about Livv Housing Group visit www.livvhousinggroup.com