British Red Cross and the electricity network operator for the Highlands and Islands are strengthening their relationship to help vulnerable customers during power cuts.
Following a donation of £400,000 from Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), British Red Cross has agreed a programme of crisis response activities aimed at supporting vulnerable customers.
The charity will use the money to buy a new, fully equipped emergency response vehicle to serve some of the areas across the UK covered by SSEPD, and recruitand train new emergency response team volunteers. The donation will also help the Red Cross to run their Support Line telephone service.
Simon Lewis, head of emergency response at the British Red Cross, said: “The Red Cross is often amongst the first to respond to emergency situations and acts as an auxiliary to the emergency services. We support people forced to leave their homes, or stuck without water or power; helping to make such stressful situations easier to cope with. SSEPD’s support is vital to ensure we are able to expand our emergency response work, helping more people at times of crisis.”
SSEPD’s Director of Distribution, Stuart Hogarth, said: “Our company’s priority is to keep the lights on for our customers, but we recognise that we also have a responsibility to make sure they are safe and well on the rare occasions that the power does go out.
“For most people, a power cut is simply an inconvenience, but we know that for some it can be much more serious and distressing, particularly for those who rely on electricity for their healthcare or mobility needs. It is this group of customers that we particularly want to benefit from our donation.