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Vulnerable Crawley residents can now get funding for energy bills



Vulnerable residents in West Sussex can get a helping hand with their bills thanks to the council’s energy supplier. 

Your Energy Sussex, which supplies gas and 100% renewable electricity to homes across the county, is working with Citizens Advice to fund emergency fuel vouchers for pre-payment meter customers (£28 for a single person and £49 for a family).

To qualify, applicants must be vulnerable (i.e. due to age or a health condition), have limited income, be in receipt of means-tested benefits and face difficult financial circumstances. Applicants do not have to be a Your Energy Sussex customer to receive a voucher.

Residents should contact their local Citizens Advice Branch if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“I am delighted that we are able to use the surplus we generate through Your Energy Sussex to help some of the most vulnerable people in the county. In recent weeks we’ve been able to increase the amount of funding available to the scheme to take account of the extra financial challenges people are facing.”

The Emergency Fuel Voucher scheme is part of Your Energy Sussex’s wider commitment to combatting fuel poverty. The supplier was launched by West Sussex County Council in 2018 to get more people to switch and save money by offering consistently competitive energy prices and working hard to keep customers on its best tariff. It is supported by councils across Sussex including East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.

Your Energy Sussex prides itself of being different to most energy suppliers because it is run on a not-for-profit basis, supplies 100% renewable electricity* to all its customers and uses the surplus it generates to build a Fuel Poverty Fund to help local residents.

If you would like to support the work of Your Energy Sussex and become a customer, go to for a quote.


Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities



Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at

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