Building Better Opportunities

Funding will support projects in England that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion. It is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.


No one wants to live in a cold home or to feel anxious about paying their bills. Through our Building Better Opportunities project, Marches Energy Agency will work with participating householders to help them address the challenges they may be facing relating to energy matters.

The BBO programme helps those furthest away from employment gain the skills and experience they need to overcome social exclusion to get into work. It will help participants gain skills and develop confidence through intensive personalised support to equip them with the abilities needed to move towards and into employment. It will provide access to a wide and diverse range of volunteering opportunities, enabling more disadvantaged people to move into further education or training having acquired basic skills, increased confidence and motivation through participation in project activities.

The new support and advocacy service, which is open to everyone aged 19 or over who is not in paid employment, will take the form of Home Energy Visits which can help householders: 

  • Manage fuel debts
  • Access funding for insulation or a new heating system
  • Reduce energy costs through tariff switching
  • Better understand heating controls and general energy use at home
  • Read energy bills and take meter readings 

Once signed up for BBO, participants can access support towards employment from the other BBO partners through a range of training, mentoring and volunteering opportunities.

As part of this project we are installing insulation in some homes. 

With a warmer, more affordable home, participants will have more head space to work with other partners in the project in moving towards employment. 

As this project progresses we will be updating this site with details of what we are achieving and more feedback like these quotes below from earlier Herefordshire customers.

‘This year I am going to get myself back on the rails. I am going to start by getting my home warmer, then tidy and clean.’  Mr G - Herefordshire resident

‘It was pretty desperate before with a very low temperature in the house, and I was feeling very depressed.  Words cannot express my gratitude for your kind donation of a grant towards a new boiler. This has enabled me to come alive again.   A very big thank you.’   Mrs W – Herefordshire resident.

Contact Details

If you would like to hear more about BBO please contact Phil Newcombe. 


Phil Newcombe

M. 07930 342832

The Pump House, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2DP