Behind the scenes

Big Issue Changing Lives CIC has been awarded £395,614 of funding from the British Gas Energy Trust

Big Issue Changing Lives CIC hopes to provide targeted money and energy interventions to 1,250 Big Issue vendors and their families over the next two years.

The British Gas Energy Trust has invested around £13m to help people in or close to fuel poverty by funding 41 frontline money and energy advice projects across Britain.

Now in its 20th year, the Trust has helped more than 700,000 people across the UK with energy debt grants, funded money and energy advice services and emergency fuel vouchers. In the last 12 months, Trust funded organisations have helped write off £5.2 million worth of energy debt and provided £20.5 million in grants to help those struggling with energy costs.

Big Issue Changing Lives CIC has received £395,614 from the Trust, to deliver vital support to local communities over the next two years.

The Trust awarded the funding following a nationwide mapping exercise which identified organisations that are best placed to help people avoid the burden of energy debt and make better informed energy and money management choices.

More than six million households across the UK remain in fuel poverty [1]. With this funding, Big Issue Changing Lives CIC hopes to continue providing targeted money and energy interventions to 1,250 Big Issue vendors and their families over the next two years experiencing fuel poverty.

Catherine Parsons, Managing Director of Big Issue Changing Lives CIC, said:

“During its first 18 months,  our project delivered vital energy and money advice to 698 Big Issue vendors and their families, who had been hardest hit by unprecedented energy price rises and the cost of living crisis. Thanks to the continued support of British Gas Energy Trust, we are delighted to be able to do more of this important work; reaching over 40% more Big Issue vendors – including members of the Roma community – requiring ongoing support to become more energy efficient and ultimately overcome fuel poverty for good.”

Jessica Taplin, CEO of the British Gas Energy Trust, said:

“I am thrilled that the Trust can continue this essential support across Britain. These funded money and energy advice services address root causes of fuel poverty such as poor money management and home energy inefficiency with an increased focus on the holistic support of increasingly complex cases and energy advice. With this funding commitment of £13m over the next two years an estimated 35,000 people across Britain will have access to these key frontline services in the heart of their community, with 60% receiving the critical in-depth support they need, thanks to Trust funded projects like Big Issue Changing Lives CIC.

About British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent Charitable Trust established in 2004 and independent from, but solely funded by, British Gas. Its mission is to alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty, with a focus on fuel poverty. Support is delivered through three programmes: debt relief grants which can help households with up to £2,000 in fuel debt; a small grants programme that provides emergency energy vouchers and payments; and a programme that funds over 40 money and energy advice projects throughout Britain.

About Big Issue Changing Lives CIC

We create innovative solutions – through magazine sales and other enterprise – to unlock social and economic opportunity for people affected by poverty. From 10 frontline offices UK wide, we enable over 3,700 Big Issue vendors and other marginalised individuals every year to earn, learn and thrive; providing access to support services, training and employment opportunities to improve their lives and raise themselves out of poverty.


[1] NEA Fuel Poverty Monitor Exec Summary Report 2024

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