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A new effort is being made to encourage people to ask for support to meet crippling and fast-rising bills. 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has urged residents struggling with energy bills and cost-of-living pressures to contact local charities providing professional advice and support, including grants.

The appeal comes as a national campaign of pop-up energy advice events, hosted by the Post Office, comes to the Western Isles in the final days of March.

These community events, in partnership with The Energy Advisory Service SCIO, will take place from 11am to 2pm on Monday 27 & Tuesday 28 March at Stornoway Post Office, 16 Francis Street, HS1 2AD.

Sponsored by Scottish Gas, the pop-ups offer straight answers, independent advice and support which can include grants up to £1,500 available through the British Gas Energy Trust. The support is available to all energy customers, not just those with Scottish Gas.

With nearly half (46%) of UK residents feeling confused about the support available for their energy bills and over a third (37%) not knowing where to find accurate advice, there’s a real need to be able to ask questions on-the-ground and face-to-face.

Residents can pop into the Post Office and have a confidential chat with a trusted and experienced advisor. The advice is free and could result in support that makes a real difference.

Kenny Macleod, Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said: “This is a good opportunity for people to access face to face support and advice. This is particularly important during these challenging times of high energy bills and cost of living pressures.”

Jessica Taplin, British Gas Energy Trust Chief Executive said: “We know there’s a real need for in-community support, especially for vulnerable people without access to online resources. Our mission is to help alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty and by working closely with local organisations like The Energy Advisory Service SCIO we are able provide much needed financial and practical support, whether you’re a British Gas customer or not.”