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John Hemming MP for Birmingham Yardley has pledged his support for ‘Mind the Gap’, a campaign aiming to raise awareness of the help available for people affected by fuel poverty.
The campaign, run by the national charity Turn2us, is focusing on the growing gap between household incomes and the cost of energy bills, and is highlighting the support available to those who are struggling to pay their energy costs.
The campaign features six steps, using Turn2us’ free tools and information to help anyone experiencing these problems. The steps, available at www.turn2us.org.uk/fuelpoverty include checking welfare benefits entitlement, searching for grants and schemes to help with bills, getting help to improve energy efficiency and checking energy tariffs.
Research by the charity found that a staggering 83% of people in the West Midlands are worried about paying their energy bills this winter. Of those who struggled with these costs last winter, over two-thirds (69%) suffered stress as a result and over two-fifths (45%) were forced to cut back on food or skip meals.
John Hemming MP said: “Fuel poverty is an extremely important issue that can have a hugely damaging effect on people from all backgrounds. It’s vitally important that people realise that they do not have to struggle alone and that help is available to help manage energy bills. I’m pleased to be able to support Turn2us’ ‘Mind the Gap’ fuel poverty campaign and I encourage anyone that is worried to take action and use the six steps to manage their bills.”
Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us said: “Turn2us has launched its winter fuel poverty campaign with the news that more people are worried about finding the money to pay for their energy bills. With the cost of living steadily increasing, people feel like they have no option but to borrow money and cut back on essentials to cover costs. Our research shows that more needs to be done to help raise awareness of the financial support and help available to manage energy bills.
“With our ‘Mind the Gap’ campaign we have brought together a number of free Turn2us tools and information all in one place to help people in financial need maximise their income and manage their energy costs."
‘Mind the Gap’ runs until 15th February 2014. For more information, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk/fuelpoverty.
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Marking Holocaust Memorial Day this week, John Hemming signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, honouring those who died during the Holocaust as well as honouring the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured.
Monday 27th January will mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history. In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
John Hemming MP said: “Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are proud that John Hemming is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. It is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”
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