Priti visits local charity facing an annual increase of £30k in electricity bills

Priti, with FACT Funding Officer Sarah Case, alongside Trinity during her tour.

Priti visits local charity facing an annual increase of £30k in electricity bills

Published: 13th March 2023 - 5:12 pm Category: Local News

The MP for Witham, Priti Patel, has visited Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT) in Tollesbury, following an SOS she received from them regarding the massive increase they are facing in electricity costs when their existing deal ends in April.  Current quotes put the increase at £30,000.

FACT’s residential centre is based on a converted lightship, Trinity, moored on the coast alongside 150 acres of saltmarsh, it provides a unique, safe environment for young people to experience adventure, relaxation and exploration.  They provide a wide range of activities including archery, climbing, dredging, high ropes, kayaking, power boating and sailing. It is an ideal venue for schools, youth clubs, churches, special needs groups and offers opportunities for people completing RYA sailing qualifications.

The lightship Trinity at her mooring in Tollesbury.
The lightship Trinity at her mooring in Tollesbury.

At her meeting with FACT’s Funding Officer, Sarah Case, on Friday 10th March 2023, Priti discussed their funding issues and has already made representations to both Ofgem and DESNZ, in regard to additional support and grants that may be available to the charity.

During her visit, Priti went onboard Trinity and was shown the extensive refurbishment works that have been carried out in just nine weeks when the centre was closed to guests between November and mid-February. Transforming the galley, washup and saloon areas, re-insulating, installing new catering equipment in the galley, a new fire alarm system, new sprinklers, heating and lighting as well as installing new double-glazed windows throughout the main deck.  In addition, piling was installed to steady Trinity, prior to a new entrance being installed later this year.

Speaking after her visit, Priti said: “FACT provides an ideal environment for young people to enjoy a wonderful breadth of activities, develop new skills and to learn all about being part of a team.  They are doing superb work and it is very concerning that they now face this major funding issue.  They have my full support and I will be doing everything I can to help them find ways of reducing their energy tariff and to access new funding.  They are a major asset to my constituency and I want them to survive this crisis.”

Sarah Case, FACT’s Funding Officer said: “We’re grateful to Priti for visiting us to hear first-hand about the funding issues we are facing and for her commitment to helping us.  We also welcomed the opportunity to bring her up to date on all the work we have done on Trinity since her last visit.”

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