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An Evaluation of Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL)

Evaluation in progress. Expected completion date February 2025.

What does the research mean for Local Authorities?

The CHiL scheme offers a range of guidance and funding to residents in Lancashire to improve their property’s warmth. Eligible applicants must live in Lancashire and have a household income of less than £31,000 or live in an eligible post code area. The findings of the evaluation will help CHiL and local authorities to better understand variation in take-up of CHiL’s funding support. This can reveal findings about barriers and facilitators to take-up of CHiL support. CHiL and local authorities can then use this information to improve service to better reach underserved groups, for example in the private rented sector.

 

What does the evaluation research mean for the Public?

Cosy Homes in Lancashire (ChiL) is a countywide initiative delivered by 14 Local Authorities (LAs) in the region. The ChiL scheme offers guidance and funding to a range of residents including homeowners, renters and landlords to help improve the warmth of their property. This research will help ChiL understand who does and doesn’t access their services. They can then use this information to help residents access funding and other kinds of support to warm their homes. This means that the public can expect to receive a better service from CHiL, especially in receiving help and support to stay warm and well.

 

How are the public involved in the project?

Peer researchers from Blackpool Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC)’s Community Co-researchers (CCRs) are involved in the designing of interview topic guides, interviewing, and some analysis of the data. Blackpool HDRC’s CCRs are recruited from local communities with lived experience of health inequalities and are involved as equal partners in all core HDRC activity including delivering training, developing dissemination strategies, inputting to governance/ accountability groups, identifying research priorities, dissemination activities, HDRC evaluation and helping plan lived experience input to research funding bids.

Lay Summary of Research

Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) is a countywide initiative delivered by 14 Local Authorities (LAs) in Lancashire. It is funded from both national and local sources. It offers a simplified ‘front door’ for residents to access grants to fund new heating measures to improve the warmth of their property. Things like: increasing insulation or installing more efficient heating systems which can reduce heating bills in domestic properties.

The PHIRST evaluation will explore three specific grants within the CHiL scheme:

  • Home Upgrade Grant 2 (HUG2)
  • Winter Warmth
  • Affordable Warmth

The evaluation will focus on gathering information about what helps or hinders uptake of these schemes. The evaluation will employ a range of methods to answer this question. We will use information already routinely collected as part of the CHiL scheme. In addition, we will also interview various stakeholders including residents to gather their perspectives and experiences of the scheme. This will provide a more detailed investigation into the reach of the scheme and what factors are affecting its uptake.

A key feature of this evaluation is the use of peer researchers (Community Co-Researchers) in data collection (see above).


Local Authority/Partner(s)

Stacey Walker (Blackpool Council)
Dr Hannah Maiden  (Blackpool HDRC)

 

PHIRST Fusion Research Team

Dr Nai Rui Chng, University of Glasgow
Prof Peter Craig, Professor of Public Health Evaluation, University of Glasgow
Dr Bronia Arnott, Newcastle University