EDF news: Community schemes aid Covid-19 efforts
Although gas and electricity demand may have recently fallen as the coronavirus and social distancing change the way we live and work, energy providers have still been kept busy elsewhere. We take a look at the latest EDF news and how its community initiatives are providing support to some of the most vulnerable and isolated.
EDF community benefit funds boost coronavirus action groups
The EDF Longpark Windfarm Community Benefit fund has provided a boost to the rural village of Stow, to support the community response to the epidemic in the Scottish Borders.
The Stow Covid-19 Action Group has received a £7,500 grant from the energy supplier which, in partnership with Fountainhall’s Resilience team and the Scottish Border Council, will go towards initiatives such as a home-made soup delivery service.
This will aid businesses and farmers through purchasing locally sourced produce and provide households with nutritional meals during the pandemic.
The cash has also helped enable the Action Group to create a booklet of advice for the local community during the lockdown, with key information on local services and shops and exercise tutorials. The booklet is set to be delivered to residents in Stow and Fountainhall this week by volunteers and will also be available online.
The group now plans to work with the local shop, post office and surgery to help deliver essential shopping and prescriptions to those who need assistance.
Co-ordinator of the Stow Covid-19 Action Group, Jemma Reid explained, “Having lived in the village for the last ten years and with two small children I wanted to put my skills to use.”
“The funding has enabled me, through the community council to create a list of free services for our community.”
“It is enlightening to see people want to help and come together at a time of need and we are extremely grateful to get the emergency funding from EDF Longpark Community Fund, as none of this would have been possible otherwise.”
The EDF Longpark Community Fund is managed by Foundation Scotland on behalf of EDF Renewables and provides grants to support local charitable initiatives.
EDF community funds are developed in partnership with local communities where a wind farm could have an impact on those living nearby.
The Stow Action Group grant is the second such financing to be made available through EDF community investment this month. In Clackmannanshire, Burnfoot Hill Wind Farm has already made £12,000 available to support the local coronavirus response in the Highlands.
Supplier teams up with pharmacies to deliver medical supplies
In further EDF news, its employees across the country have also responded to the current crisis by aiding volunteer programmes and local community schemes, while continuing to work on delivering and maintaining energy connections for the most essential services, such as NHS hospitals.
The supplier has teamed up with Avicenna, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy support network, to help deliver essential prescription medicines and other vital supplies to patients based in the South East who are either in self-isolation or unable to get to their local pharmacy.
Avicenna chairman, Salim Jetha, said of the partnership: “Self-isolation and the shielding of vulnerable groups has put extra pressure on pharmacists wanting to offer home delivery services.”
“Avicenna has a strong track record of supporting independent pharmacies, many of whom don’t have deep pockets to sustain their businesses and are deeply grateful for a helping hand from the EDF volunteers”
The partnership follows news that EDF Energy volunteers will be working with Boots Pharmacy to help get essential medical supplies and prescriptions to those in need. Around 70 engineers have signed up to offer their services throughout the country so far.
Nick Gould, a smart meter engineer, said: “It’s great to have the chance to do something to help the community and those who are reliant on these medicines but unable to collect them. If I can help people get the medicines they need, that is one less thing for them to worry about.”
EDF coronavirus measures for customers
In addition to investing in community initiatives, EDF has ramped up efforts to keep the power on for vulnerable prepayment customers, while also ensuring its employees are carrying out their duties as key workers in a safe environment.
The supplier has announced that it will offer support and flexibility on a case-by-case basis to customers who are struggling to make ends meet. This assistance could include extended repayment schedules.
For customers on prepayment tariffs affected by the crisis, a significant hardship fund has been set up. For more information, you should contact EDF’s Prepayment Team on 0333 200 5110.
The energy provider has, however, postponed all home visits and will not be offering any new smart meter appointments for the time being.