SSEN joins forces with local groups to build resilience across Oxfordshire

Man and woman with box of folders

Tricia Crowley from Eynsham Parish Council and SSEN Customer and Community Advisor, Simon Olliffe prepare to distribute 1,000 Priority Services Register leaflets to the Oxfordshire Community Resilience Group

Communities in Oxfordshire are finding out about the help they can receive during power cuts and adverse weather events as Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) works with the area’s resilience groups and parish councils to spread the word about its free services.

A recent event held by the Oxfordshire Community Resilience Group gave SSEN the opportunity to meet with fourteen different parish councils from the local area and to talk through the various ways that the distribution network operator can help its customers and communities at times when weather events or unplanned power outages can make them feel vulnerable.

As well as discussions on resilience planning, upgrades to the local electricity infrastructure and planned works, over 1,000 Priority Services Register leaflets were distributed across the attending groups.

SSEN’s Customer and Community Advisor, Chelsie Bickford explains more: "At SSEN, we’re very aware that unplanned power cuts and the disruption caused by extreme weather can leave communities feeling isolated and vulnerable, so it’s important for us to be able to join forces with organisations, such as the Oxfordshire Community Resilience Group, to share information on how we can help.

"For some, being without electricity - even for a short time - can be a distressing and difficult situation, but through SSEN’s Priority Services Register and Resilient Communities Fund we can give communities and individuals the support they need to help them through.

"Being able to spread the word about these free services through parish councils and local resilience groups means we can reach a wider audience and ensure that even more of our customers can be prepared for whatever our unpredictable British weather can throw at them."

Customers can qualify for SSEN's Priority Services Register if they:

  • Are dependent on electricity for home medical care
  • Have a chronic illness or short term medical condition
  • Are disabled
  • Have special communication needs
  • Have children under the age of five
  • Are over the age of 60

 By registering for SSEN’s Priority Services Register, customers will be proactively contacted to warn them of potential bad weather to help them prepare and to offer extra support where required. SSEN’s teams will also keep in close and regular contact with its PSR customers during power cuts to check they are getting the help they need. 

Twenty-six local community groups in central southern England are currently benefiting from the latest round of SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund, which provides individual grants of up to £20,000 to help them build their resilience in emergency situations and adverse weather and the fund is due to re-open in spring 2019. 

To find out more about SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund, please visit our website: www.ssen.co.uk/Resiliencefund/ and to find out more about the Priority Services Register, click here or call 0800 294 3259.