The Post Office has teamed up with British Gas to offer direct help to those struggling to pay energy bills amid the cost of living crisis.
‘Stop the Silence Pop-Ups’ will appear during the next three weeks across UK cities, giving people worried about their debts free practical and financial advice.
Starting on Monday, the walk-in centres have been launched after a British Gas survey by YouGov found 40 per cent of adults may struggle to may their next bill, while 35 per cent will suffer without saying anything.
This comes after energy bills spiked last month by 54 per cent to an eye-watering £1,971 per year, placing huge pressures on people’s finances. This has been in part due to the the war in Ukraine which has put renewed pressure on energy security.
In the first week of the initiative, the energy provider will send trained debt advisers to attend local post offices in London, Glasgow, West Bromwich and Cardiff, for one-on-one walk-in sessions. More sessions will be announced over the next three weeks
“Partnering with Post Office.. will help provide a lifeline to those communities we know are really struggling”, said British Gas Energy Trust chief executive Jessica Taplin.
She added its mission “is to help alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty and being visible in more local, familiar places like Post Office enables us to reach even more people”.
Nick Read, Post Office chief executive said: “Millions of people visit our branches each week to pay bills or top up their gas and electricity metres. We know from what Postmasters tell us that there are people really struggling out there to pay their bills and they’re seeing customers come through their door for the first time asking what support is available for bill payments.
“We’re proud to be partnering with British Gas on such an important initiative. We’ll be closely monitoring how helpful people find these new pop-up support centres and encourage anyone who lives close to one and is struggling, to attend a free, private consultation at our branch.”