As part of the British Gas Energy Trust and Kidney Care UK partnership a team of money and energy advisers joins our existing Patient Support & Advocacy team to support those disproportionately affected by the rising cost of living. These advisers will work on a one-to-one basis with people with kidney disease, assessing their needs and identifying sources of support to resolve practical, financial, and psychosocial challenges.
Having a long-term health condition like chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually leads to increased costs for heating, water, and a kidney-friendly diet. Transport to and from multiple medical appointments for dialysis patients is also incredibly costly; around 25,000 people have their dialysis at a unit or hospital and need to attend these sessions every other day, across the whole year. For the 5,000 people who have their dialysis at home, there are significant impacts on their utility bills.
According to our Cost of staying alive report, 98% of respondents said they worry about the rising cost of living, and nearly nine out of ten reported that it was having an impact on their mental health.
Laurie Cuthbert, Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at Kidney Care UK, said: “Kidney patients have been disproportionately impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and are at increased risk of fuel poverty. We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for our services with specific requests for support related to finances and coping with the rising costs since early 2022. We’re delighted to be working with British Gas Energy Trust to meet this increased need and provide support to thousands of people at most risk of poverty. We saw a 240% increase in demand for grants to help kidney patients pay their heating bills last winter and this new service will help us to ensure people who need this vital support are able to access it at a time when they need it most.”
Jessica Taplin, CEO of the British Gas Energy Trust, added: “The increased cost of living is a struggle for many, but for those with disabilities, it can create additional challenges. This is why the Trust is funding charities such as Kidney Care UK, which are experienced at supporting people who are disproportionally more at risk of the detrimental impact of fuel poverty. We are delighted that this funding will enable kidney patients to access the vital service of money and energy advice, directly from Kidney Care UK, especially as we head into the winter months.”
Find out about other money and energy advice services available from British Gas Energy Trust.