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Black Isle Cares teams up with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to highlight support available in Ross and Cromarty during power cuts

By Philip Murray

SSEN staff with Black Isle Cares at their Fortrose offices. Lesley Bowman is sitting in the centre with Pamela Harvey far left.
SSEN staff with Black Isle Cares at their Fortrose offices. Lesley Bowman is sitting in the centre with Pamela Harvey far left.

ENERGY bosses and Black Isle Cares have teamed up to highlight the support available in power cuts.

Black Isle Cares, which is based in Fortrose and provides a range of support from home care and meals on wheels to mental health information, will spread the word about the support Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) can provide in the Highlands.

The company hopes it will increase awareness of its Priority Services Register (PSR) amongst customers who may need extra support, including the elderly, households with a young baby or customers who have electrical medical equipment at home.

Pamela Harvey, at SSEN said: “One of our engineers was really pleased with the service that his mum gets from Black Isle Cares’ Meals on Wheels service, and so, as their teams are in regular direct contact with the communities who could benefit from the PSR, he suggested that I get in touch and ask if they’d like to help spread the word.

“When I met with Lesley and the team at Black Isle Cares I was really impressed with their passion and commitment to helping the local community, and I was delighted when they agreed to promote the free support that comes with being on our PSR.

"Not only that, but we are also now working together to offer advice on energy efficiency and fuel poverty, building on our current partnership with Home Energy Scotland.”

Lesley Bowman, Meals on Wheels manager at Black Isle Cares, said that she and her colleagues were pleased to be able to help share the PSR message with their customers

“When we go to our customers’ homes we’re not only providing them with nutritious hot food, we’re also sometimes the only regular social contact they may have for days at a time," she explained. "A power cut can be quite upsetting for some of our housebound customers, so by letting them know about SSEN’s PSR, we’re giving them an extra bit of reassurance that they’re not alone and that there are people out there who want to help.”

The new partnership has also blossomed at a more grass roots level, when SSEN staff visited the Black Isle Cares office, lending a hand (and a mechanical digger) to carry out some essential garden maintenance.

Ms Harvey explained: “When I was discussing our PSR and the other help we can offer the local community, Lesley mentioned that they were hoping to tidy up the garden at the front of their offices, but didn’t have access to a digger, which would mean the job would be much more arduous and take a lot longer to complete.

"At SSEN we have a volunteering programme called ‘Be the Difference’ which gives every member of staff a day away from the office to help a local charity or good cause, and so I put the word out at the depot and we had a few volunteers in no time!”

Ms Bowman and her colleagues are delighted with the new style garden.

“A big thanks to the team from SSEN, the combination of their hard work and mini-digger meant that the front of our office is now looking fantastic," she said.

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