Month: June 2019

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BES Utilities pledges support for The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign

BES Utilities is backing a campaign to help raise funds for a vital community support service. 
 

The commercial energy supplier has pledged its support to The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign which was launched to help meet the charity’s day-to-day running costs. 

The Samaritans’ Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch deals with more than 2,000 calls a month from people who require emotional support or are in distress. 
 

Although the branch has a dedicated group of 70-plus volunteers the charity relies solely on donations from the public to pay its £147 a day running costs. 

BES Utilities, which is owned by Fleetwood entrepreneur Andy Pilley, has pledged its support to ‘Pay for a Day’ after the campaign was brought to its attention by the company’s Learning and Development Trainer Alex Dodd, who is a Samaritans volunteer in her spare time. 
 

Alex said: “The work The Samaritans does is so vital, they help so many people at times of real hardship and distress. 
 

“Every day the Fylde coast branch answers, on average, 80 phone calls, emails and text messages, and is there for anyone who calls or visits for a face-to-face chat.   
 

“It really is a lifeline for so many people and I’m so delighted and proud BES Utilities is supporting such a fantastic charity in this way.”     
 

The Samaritans’ Fylde coast branch, situated on Edward Street, Blackpool, was set up in 1978 and operates 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. 
 

Branch director Angie Pascoe said she was delighted local companies like BES Utilities were supporting the ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign.  

Angie said: “At the heart of The Samaritans are our volunteers who do such amazing, selfless work. But like any charity we need funds to pay for basic things like lighting, heating, phones and rent. 

“It costs £147 to run and maintain our branch and shop each day, which includes training for all our volunteers and paying for our Freecall phone service 116 123. 

“As a charity we rely solely on the generosity of the public. Local businesses often ask us how they can help and getting involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ is perfect. 

“Im really delighted BES Utilities has decided to sponsor the branch. It means a lot and helps our volunteers to continue to provide such a vital service.” 

If you would like to get involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ or get more information about the work of The Samaritans please email blackpool.fundraising@samaritans.org 

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Cod Army pitches in to transform park for footballers young and old

A once forlorn football pitch is bringing players of all ages together thanks to a stunning transformation led by Fleetwood Town.

The pitch in East Pines Park, Anchorsholme, was in a rather sorry state until the Cod Army’s grounds team got involved.

Town chairman Andy Pilley – who grew up nearby – pledged to help revamp the facilities after he was approached by the Friends of East Pines Park.

Now, following extensive improvement work, which includes drainage and a new marked-out playing surface and goals, the pitch plays host to a variety of community football sessions for youngsters. There are also weekly walking football sessions for older players.

And the new facilities have already been credited with reducing instances of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Visiting the park to see the stunning transformation for himself, Andy said: “I grew up near the park and know it very well. It’s an important open space for local residents that sadly, until the Friends group got involved, was in a rather sorry state.

“I’m delighted that as a local lad I’ve been able to assist the great work the Friends group does. The pitch now looks fantastic – I’d hazard a guess it’s probably the best park pitch on the Fylde coast!

“What is great to see is that since the work was carried out so many groups are now using the pitch. The club is committed to helping with its upkeep and we hope this is the start of something really special for Anchorsholme residents young and old.”

(3) Anchorsholme youngsters check out the new pitch at East Pines Park.JPG

Together with the help of Fleetwood Town, the Friends group– which is made up of a dedicated band of volunteers and local councillors – has secured grants from Sport England and the Lancashire Crime Commissioner.

This has enabled the creation of coaching sessions for under-11 to under-16 age ranges. The sessions, run by Sport Blackpool in association with coaches from Blackpool and The Fylde College, involve around 50 youngsters.

Cllr Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme ward, said: “Andy and Fleetwood Town have been amazing. With their support we have been able to create a truly wonderful playing surface. It has proper drainage, is correctly marked out, goals, nets, corner flags and is something the whole community is rightly proud of.

“The impact of the pitch and coaching sessions, together with our message of respect for the park, respect for other residents and respect for the local community, has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the park massively.

“Our next step is to create several East Pines Park five-a-side teams that can play in the leagues at Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex. Again, Andy has generously agreed to help us on that journey.

“Through Andy and Fleetwood Town’s support and guidance, we are creating an amazing footballing and sports legacy which will positively shape the lives of people of our young people for a generation to come.”

Since 2015, the Friends of East Pines Park has secured funding and raised money allowing them to install £45,000 of new play equipment, erect £28,000 of new railings, plant more than 4,000 plants and open a café at Anchorsholme Library. In 2018 the park was named ‘Best Park in Blackpool’ in the Blackpool In Bloom awards.

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BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs

BES Utilities has won a major contract which will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.

ESPO – one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations – has set up a new fixed-price purchase framework that will allow public sector bodies to source gas and electricity at lower prices than they would otherwise be able to negotiate themselves.

And ESPO has confirmed it has selected BES Utilities as one of its three suppliers for the new framework.

The contract – which is worth an estimated £600m over two years – allows BES to supply a range of public sector bodies across the UK including:

  • Local authorities
  • Educational establishments (including Academies)
  • Central Government Departments and agencies
  • Police, Fire and Rescue and Coastguard emergency services
  • NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies, including Ambulance Services
  • Registered charities
  • Registered social landlords

Michelle Davidson, co-owner and director of BES Utilities, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to supply gas and electricity to ESPO’s customers through this new framework. This is a major development for BES and opens a new market to us.

“We always pride ourselves on developing innovative products which help our private sector customers drive down their energy bills. We now look forward to bringing this dedication and expertise to the public sector.

“We are committed to working with ESPO and their customers, who range from schools, councils, the emergency services and charities, to deliver unrivalled service and real value for money.”

Lancashire-based BES Utilities is joined by Corona Energy and Total Gas and Power as the framework’s suppliers.

All three were assessed during the procurement process on their financial stability, track record, experience, technical and professional ability and regulatory status.

Declan McAlister, ESPO Category Manager (Energy), said: “We are proud to bring to market our brand-new Fixed Price Energy framework which will give excellent value and service to the public sector and will provide greater budgetary certainty.

“We are delighted to have a choice of suppliers on the framework that have all been rigorously assessed during our procurement process to ensure our customers receive the highest of standards from the ESPO they know and trust.

“In particular, the suppliers impressed us with their commitment to social responsibility and transparency, a key principle of this procurement process.”

BES Utilities is committed to social responsibility and helping customers in tough trading times through the company’s ground-breaking hardship fund and its partnership with the charity Business Debtline.

In 2018 alone, the BES Fund gave assistance to customers who had collectively run up energy debts of almost £500,000. Through pro-active intervention, BES and Business Debtline were able to provide clear pathways and viable solutions for businesses allowing them to continue trading.

ESPO, which is jointly owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Peterborough City Council, has more than 30 years of experience in public sector procurement.

As a large purchaser, it can take an aggregated and risk-managed approach to negotiations and so return greater value to customers amid often volatile energy market prices.

The new framework can secure pre-agreed, fixed prices for Half Hour (HH), Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) and Unmetered Supplies (UMS). This will, in turn, provide budget certainty for customers.

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BES Utilities launches specialist metering division following acquisition of Access Install

Commercial energy supplier BES Utilities is delighted to today announce the launch of its very own specialist metering services division.

This follows the acquisition of Liverpool-based metering, asset and management company Access Install, for an undisclosed sum, with a further planned seven figure investment in the operation over the next 12 months.

The business will now trade as BES Metering Services with all 80 Access Install employees – including a nationwide network of metering engineers – transferring to the Lancashire-based BES Group with immediate effect.

BES co-founder and chairman Andy Pilley said the development is great news for customers while also securing jobs. BES is also looking to create at least 20 new jobs by expanding the number of metering engineers employed.

Andy said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of BES Metering Services which is a very important development for both the company and our customers.

“Through this acquisition we now have our very own dedicated metering installation and servicing company and the importance of this cannot be over-stated.

“By combining this new internal capability with the services of our existing trusted partners we will improve the speed and reliability of metering appointments as well as access to the latest metering technologies and that is great news for customers.

“On top of this, having our own metering business demonstrates our commitment towards meeting the Government’s smart meter rollout target.

“We are delighted to welcome a new 80-strong workforce to BES and we look forward to expanding this dedicated team very soon by increasing the number of meter engineers employed. These are truly exciting times for BES as we continue to expand our business and improve services for our customers.”

BES was formed in 2002 and supplies gas and electricity to non-domestic customers across the UK. It recently bucked the national trend by slashing electricity bills for thousands of businesses by an average of 10.28%.

The group of companies now employs around 800 staff across all its businesses which include BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town Football Club.

Founded in 2016, Access Install provides Meter Operator Provider (MoP), Meter Asset Manager (MAM) and Meter Asset Provider (MAP) services. Operations and staff will continue to be based at Liverpool International Business Park following the sale to BES.

The Government has targeted the installation of more than 53 million ‘Smart Meters’ in homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

Smart meters enable customers to receive accurate and up-to-date information about their energy consumption which can assist in helping reduce bills and improve energy efficiency.

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