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Monday, May 20, 2024

RBF supports rail staff with soaring energy costs

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The Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) is reminding railway people this January that they may be eligible for support with rising energy costs. Launched back in April last year, the RBF’s ‘Energy Support Fund’ offers recipients a grant of up to £200 to support with the cost of gas and electricity bills.

To be eligible for the Energy Support Fund, applicants must have at least one years’ experience on UK railways, have a gross annual household income of less than £40,000, and have less than £3,000 in capital if a single person, or less than £5,000 if a couple. The grant is available to current, former, and retired railway workers. Each applicant will be offered budgeting advice through Manchester Citizens Advice to adjust to changing costs, as well as being signposted to other grants that they may be eligible for.

Since launching the Fund, the charity has been inundated with responses, highlighting a real need for support in the industry. Since October, over 60% of all grant applications made to RBF have been related to energy costs. Average energy prices in the UK increased by 27% in October, and are due to increase a further 20% this April. As these prices continue to soar and temperatures drop this winter, the charity predicts that they will need to assist hundreds more railway people with this issue in the coming months.
RBF have also found that nearly a third of all applicants to the Energy Support Fund have been in urgent need of further financial support, often due to mounting debts. The charity can provide support with a variety of other costs including housing, white goods and funerals.

RBF Services Manager Ryan Morgan said: “We saw an unprecedented level of demand for our Energy Support Fund last year and predict this to continue throughout 2023. One concerning finding has been the number of cases that when investigated, have been in need of critical financial support from RBF. We encourage anyone struggling with this cost to reach out today and speak to a member of our team.”
RBF is solely funded by donations and is calling on everyone in the rail industry who wants to make a difference to donate, however big or small, towards this fund, so that the charity can continue to help those in crisis.

Donate towards the Energy Support Fund at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/energysupportfund

Apply for the Energy Support Fund here: https://www.railwaybenefitfund.org.uk/how-we-can-help/energy-support-fund/

Or call 0345 241 2885 for more information.

Image credit: RBF

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