Outreach Advisor / Caseworker

  • Job Reference: OAC-CEP001
  • Date Posted: 14 August 2022
  • Recruiter: Community Energy Plus
  • Location: Truro, Cornwall
  • Remote Working: Some remote working possible
  • Salary: £23,040 to £24,390
  • Sector: Community & Sport
  • Job Type: Contract
  • Duration: 2 years, with the potential for extension
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

Community Energy Plus are recruiting for Outreach Advisors / Caseworkers

For two roles, one covering East Cornwall and the other West Cornwall

Community Energy Plus has recently secured major new funding and in response to the challenge of the cost of living crisis and escalating energy bills, we are creating two new roles to help us connect with households struggling to cope with higher costs.

We are recruiting two advisors to join our Energy Advice team to work on a range of projects tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency across Cornwall, with a brief to reach out to communities across the whole of Cornwall. One post will cover Cornwall west of Truro and the other east of Truro, up to the Tamar.

Are you a people person, who is passionate about supporting residents to improve their circumstances? If you’re interested in making a difference in your community and looking for a way to use your people and administrative skills in a role that has a real impact, then our Outreach Advisor role will be of interest.

Knowledge about energy efficiency is not necessary (we will provide lots of training for the right candidate), but we are looking for someone who has experience in providing advice and help and has a caring ethos. This role is primarily addressing the immediate impacts of fuel poverty, but in the context of the climate emergency, support and guidance for households at risk of being left behind in the transition towards a low carbon energy system will grow in importance.

Our Outreach Advisors / Caseworkers will be people who:

• are committed to providing support to vulnerable people,
• are passionate about making a lasting difference for all communities across Cornwall,
• have an approachable outlook and can communicate with people of all backgrounds,
• are flexible and can take a collaborative approach to teamwork, and
• are prepared to learn new skills around fuel poverty, domestic energy efficiency and low carbon solutions.

We anticipate the role will involve 3 days each week actively working with community and voluntary sector organisations, and hosting energy advice surgeries and drop-in events.

The Important Details:

Contract: Ideally this is a full-time role, but we are open to part time/flexible working arrangements with the right individuals.

Duration: Initially, a 2-year fixed term contract with the potential for extension.

There is an initial 4-month probationary period, and in this period the successful candidates will study for the City & Guilds Level 3 Energy Awareness.

Location: Our office is based in Truro, but the Outreach Advisors will spend at least 3 days a week out in the community; some home working will also be an option.

Salary: starting at £23,040 and progressing to £24,390 on successful completion of probation and attainment of City & Guilds Level 3 Energy Awareness.

Start date: As soon as possible

Further details: Please email recruitment@cep.org.uk to arrange an informal chat about the role and how a successful candidate could deliver this role.

Application process: CLICK APPLY NOW to send your CV and a covering letter describing your motivations and suitability for the role; please note the expectations for the role set out in the following description.

Please include in subject line of your email: Vacancy - Outreach Advisor and [Your name].

Please specify your preference for working in either the East or West of Cornwall.

Application Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 11th September 2022

Interviews: by arrangement

What we are looking for in an OUTREACH ADVISOR/CASEWORKER

The primary purposes of the role are:

• To deliver effective advice on energy efficiency and energy bill management to help householders achieve warmer, healthier homes.
• To strengthen Community Energy Plus’ engagement with the community and voluntary sector across Cornwall, to ensure we are reaching households in fuel poverty.

Attributes / competencies

• Friendly, with excellent interpersonal skills and a sympathetic manner.
• Able to work well in a team, but able to work independently.
• Able to remain calm and solution focused when supporting residents in vulnerable circumstances, who may be distressed.
• Methodical, organised, and self-motivated.
• Strong administrative skills with good attention to detail.
• Proactively identifies potential issues and offers solutions.
• Effective writing skills with a particular emphasis on preparing and representing reports and plans.
• A competent user of Microsoft Office, (Word, Excel, Teams, and Outlook).

Essential Skills and experience –

• Able to deal sensitively and appropriately with vulnerable residents.
• Very good verbal and written communication skills; able to simplify technical information for a general audience.
• Confident in running workshops and giving presentations to small groups.
• Ability to work well under pressure and manage time effectively.
• Providing information accessibly in person, on the phone and by other media.
• At least 1 year’s experience working in the community sector in Cornwall.
• A full driving licence and access to a car. (Note: significant weekly mileage is anticipated with this role, the costs of which will be covered, but reliability of transport is important).

Desirable Skills and experience -

• Knowledge of energy efficiency or home improvement projects.
• Providing advice to residents or clients.
• Knowledge of the welfare benefit system.

Essential qualifications & knowledge

• Minimum of 5 GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A*to C equivalent) including literacy and numeracy, or substantial work experience.
• A good knowledge of the geography of Cornwall.
• Awareness of the role and function of the voluntary sector in Cornwall.

Desirable Qualifications & knowledge

• Desirable BA or BSc Degree in a relevant subject.
• An awareness of the impacts of fuel poverty and wider poverty in Cornwall.
• Understanding of the growing challenges of the transition to a low carbon energy system.

Successful candidates will be asked to complete a standard DBS check as part of induction into the post.

What you can expect to be doing as part of Community Energy Plus’s Advice team:

The purpose of the post is:

• To deliver effective advice on energy efficiency and energy bill management to help householders achieve warmer healthier homes.
• To deliver case work for the Energy Redress funded Cornwall Energy Advice Service and other projects, adapted where vulnerabilities and social distancing guidelines only allow remote contact.
• To strengthen Community Energy Plus’ engagement with the community and voluntary sector across Cornwall, to ensure we are reaching households in fuel poverty by delivering a programme of presentations, events and hosting energy advice surgeries and drop-in events.

The post-holder must hold a City & Guilds 6281 Level 3 certification in Energy Awareness. Appropriate training will be given if this qualification is not held prior to appointment.

Responsibilities: Outreach Advisor / Caseworker Provide advice to householders on domestic energy efficiency, damp, mould, and temperature management via the Community Energy Plus helpline, events, talks to user groups, email and post.

1. Deliver basic energy advice directly to fuel poor households. To include:

a. identifying where energy efficiency and insulation measures are required
b. assessing the adequacy of existing heating systems, which may include consideration of connection to the gas network if appropriate and accessible
c. providing advice about smart meters
d. identifying opportunities to maximise household income
e. addressing fuel debt
f. making referrals to partner agencies for on-going support

2. In a variety of locations, deliver regular energy clinics and drop-in advice sessions offering one-to-one advice and guidance. This will include delivering energy assessments with clients, to assist them to take steps to improve their living conditions. From this initial face-to-face engagement, clients will be signposted to other specialist members of the Community Energy Plus Advice Team and our various projects, and also to other partners offering debt support, income maximisation guidance, and other relevant services.

3. Develop an outreach strategy to reach community and voluntary sector organisations that will facilitate engagement with households that are at risk of being or are in fuel poverty, especially to those who are classed as hardest to reach, either through their location, lack of engagement with voluntary and statutory services, or those who are digitally or otherwise excluded.

a. Attending community events and deliver energy advice talks to established support groups as part of their regular programme.
b. Work with social prescribers, the Primary Care Networks, and the emerging Community Hub network to engage with fuel-poor households where health conditions are a contributing factor.

A key function of this role will be to establish contacts with and build knowledge of the network of community and voluntary sector organisations across the area, and to promote awareness of Community Energy Plus’ services.

4. Provide in-depth support, handholding, and advocacy to vulnerable households. This includes signposting, referrals and helping customers to apply for financial assistance (e.g. heating and insulation grants, Warm Home Discount scheme, fuel debt clearance), advocacy support for householders facing complex energy issues, and coaching clients on how to manage their heating system, take meter readings, switch energy supplier and control energy bills.

5. Ensure that all data recorded in Community Energy Plus’ customer relationship management system is accurate and efficiently maintained.

6. Contribute information for project newsletters and communications, including social media.

7. Provide information for regular reports to the project funder.

8. Maintain an up to date working knowledge of fuel poverty, energy efficiency and sustainable energy matters and keep relevant information, literature, and documentation available for review.

9. Ensure that knowledge of the details of grant bodies, other funding sources and organisations providing complementary services is up to date and locally relevant.

If you want to find out more about working with Community Energy Plus, please email recruitment@cep.org.uk to arrange an informal chat.

To make an application: Please CLICK APPLY NOW attaching your CV and a covering letter describing your motivations and suitability for the role; please note the expectations for the role set out above.

Please include in subject line of your email: Vacancy - Outreach Advisor and [Your name].

In your email please also specify your preference for working in either the East or West of Cornwall.

Application Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 11th September 2022

Interviews: by arrangement