SSEN teams up with Black Isle Cares to raise awareness of the extra support available for customers

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Highlands and Islands Region has teamed up with Black Isle Cares to raise awareness of the extra support it provides its customers on the rare occasions there is a power cut.

Black Isle Cares is a charity based in Fortrose and provides a wide range of support facilities for the local community, from home care and meals on wheels to information on mental health facilities in the region. SSEN is hoping that by joining forces with Black Isle Cares,  it will see an increase in awareness of its Priority Services Register (PSR) amongst those 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, SSEN’s Customer Relationship Manager, explains how the partnership came about:

“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 are 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. 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.

Pamela explains more:

“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!” 

Lesley 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.”

To learn more about the free help that is available through the PSR, click here, and to see the type of care and support that Black Isle Cares can offer, please visit their website.

The photo shows SSEN staff with Black Isle Cares at their Fortrose offices; Lesley Bowman is sitting in the centre with Pamela Harvey on her right.


About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

Read more articles by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks