Bristolians honoured for tackling fuel poverty
TWO Bristolians have been honoured for their contribution to tackling fuel poverty in the city.
Rhianne Cotterill from the Bristol Debt Advice Centre (BDAC) and Yusuf Salah from Centre for Sustainable Energy were awarded Heat Heroes by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) in London.
The scheme recognises individuals across England and Wales who have made a significant contribution to helping people living in fuel poverty in their local community and Bristol was the only city where two Heat Heroes were awarded.
The award ceremony was attended by local MPs Kerry McCarthy (Lab, Bristol East), Stephen Williams (Lib Dem, Bristol West) and Dawn Primarolo (Lab, Bristol South).
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Ms Cotterill has been tackling fuel poverty in the South West for over five years working tirelessly to develop BDAC's Energy Advice Project.
Mr Salah is the key link between Centre for Sustainable Energy's local energy advisors and Bristol's large Somali population. He helps raise awareness of the support available, acting as an interpreter and helping energy advisors understand the Somali community.
Maria Wardrobe, Director of NEA said: "The Heat Heroes are a credit to their communities, particularly as some experts are predicting this winter to be the coldest in 100 years.
"The consequences of fuel poverty can be devastating, ranging from psychological stress, worry and social isolation to causing or exacerbating serious illnesses such as respiratory and circulatory conditions, with an estimated 120 excess winter deaths occurring last year in Bristol.
"I am delighted that we have people like Rhianne and Yusuf working to help vulnerable people keep warm in their homes in their community."