Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network, has partnered with YMCA England and Wales as part of its commitment to tackling fuel poverty and supporting the most vulnerable nationwide.

With fuel poverty hitting many households and affecting so many individuals and families, Cadent has funded a new two-year-long ‘Safe and Well Communities Project,’ to support those in crisis. For YMCA Burton, this has included providing slow cookers for residents at its sites, to help with cooking in a more energy efficient way, providing carbon monoxide alarms and also offering training to staff on energy efficiency and financial management.

Last week, YMCA Burton welcomed Cadent colleagues from its Burton-on-Trent depot, to have a look around its services at Reconnect, the Adult Homeless Centre.

Emma Turnbull, the Safeguarding and Community Partnerships lead at Cadent, said: “It was great to see the amazing work that YMCA is doing within Burton-on-Trent, supporting people living in vulnerable situations. The passion from all the YMCA staff was heart-warming and we’re incredibly proud to be in partnership with such a remarkable charity.”

The demand on YMCA Burton’s facilities has increased dramatically as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact the local community. Services such as the foodbank are seeing the highest emergency food parcel distribution rate than ever before in its 23-year history, with other services such as Family Mediation, having a waiting list for the first time.

Visiting from YMCA England and Wales was Aaron Flemons, its Business Development Officer, who said: “Firstly, I would like to thank everyone at YMCA Burton for arranging and hosting this visit, as well as being so welcoming to myself and our guests from Cadent. Having the opportunity to visit YMCA Burton with members of the Cadent team, to experience first-hand the great work, is a fantastic way to begin our national partnership. The energy and compassion Paul and his team have for their community is contagious, and inspired the Cadent staff in attendance. I look forward to seeing what future local collaborations arise between YMCA Burton and Cadent after such an engaging and inspiring visit.”

Fuel poverty remains a persistent issue affecting millions of people across the UK, particularly those on low incomes. Through this unique collaboration, YMCA and Cadent will work hand in hand to address this challenge head-on, making a meaningful impact on the lives of those most affected.

CEO of YMCA Burton, Paul Laffey, said: ‘It was great to welcome Cadent Staff and Engineers to the YMCA.  As a follow-up to the National Partnership of YMCA England & Wales with Cadent, we decided to invite a few of its local team to have a look around, introducing the services offered at our YMCA.  Our staff also gave a tour of our Reconnect Adult Homeless Centre, which included meeting the team, seeing our foodbank in operation, showcasing a resident’s home and receiving a presentation from Peter, our Family Mediator.  Our team is very passionate about our work, and it was great to see that same passion with our Cadent visitors.   We discussed collaboration, and future working in partnership.   I’m very grateful for the time and commitment the Cadent team has provided to the YMCA.   Cadent’s contribution will enable the YMCA to impact the lives of many vulnerable people for years to come.’