Liverpool residents in need of help with heating up their homes this Christmas may be entitled to nearly £50 in vouchers .

The Fuelbank scheme, ran by Npower in conjunction with the Trussell Trust’s food banks, allows people to claim vouchers - if they have been referred to a food bank in need of emergency food.

The scheme was launched to stop people having to choose between 'heating and eating' and helps food bank users with pre-payment meters for gas and electricity.

Existing foodbank users in need of heating this winter can apply, regardless of being an Npower customer , and can receive the £49 voucher – enough money for two weeks of heating for the average home.

Where can you apply?

Currently, the Fuelbank vouchers can only be applied for at the Wirral Food Bank on Dock Road, Birkenhead , for users already registered at that foodbank.

Who can apply?

Any current users of the Wirral Food Bank in Wallasey can enquire about the scheme.

However applicants must be on a pre-pay energy meter.

A person can only be eligible if they are in need of emergency food and have already been referred to a food bank by a third party.

You do not not have to be an Npower customer to be eligible.

How do you claim your voucher?

An application form is filled in and a Fuelbank voucher will be given along with a 10-digit code sent by text.

The voucher and the code can they be taken to to any shop with a PayPoint machine.

Take with you your gas card or electricity key and ask the staff member to follow the instructions overleaf on your voucher to redeem it.

How often can you apply?

The voucher can be applied for at any time but can only be given twice in a single year – one £30 voucher in the summer and one £49 voucher in winter months.

‘An important breakthrough in the fight back against hunger.’

The scheme, which was piloted in 2015, has since served over 100,000 people in need of heating.

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The scheme was originally launched in the Liverpool area in 2016, and was championed by then Birkenhead MP Frank Field.

Speaking to the  Liverpool Echo in 2016 , Mr Field called the scheme “an important breakthrough in the fight back against hunger.”

Fuelbank is designed to stop vulnerable people from being cut off from heating during the cold winter months.

The scheme is now running in 11 foodbanks across the UK, including Durham, Coventry and Glasgow.