* Chance to see how oil clubs cut fuel costs


Groups interested in a community bulk buying scheme are being urged to attend an event that will show how it is done.

Community and church groups in the Larne and Carrickfergus boroughs are invited to the session organised by a Co Antrim oil club that saves its members £100 in fuel costs every three months

Glenravel Oil Club, a community bulk buying scheme, was started two years ago by Glenravel District Community Residents Association in partnership with Ballymena Borough Council to help address the growing issue of fuel poverty. It has been going from strength to strength and with around 170 households signed up as members, it is hailed as a front-runner in how communities can set up an enterprise that has real economic benefit for local people.

Each month, Glenravel Oil Club places around 60 orders for oil on behalf of its members, saving around £100 for each household in a three-month period. That is real money back into the pockets of the club’s members, demonstrating the value of bulk buying.

The success of Glenravel Oil Club has been recognised by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland at a Tackling Fuel Poverty Together event in Stormont.

The minister said: “Tackling poverty is an issue which needs a partnership approach and I commend the Mid and East Antrim, Causeway Coast and Glens Cluster on working together to support their community and tackle a very real issue for many homes across Northern Ireland.”

The oil club’s champion, Marian Maguire and her team of volunteers are inviting organisations and groups to attend and hear their story on Monday, 31 March in Glenravel Sports and Community Complex in Martinstown, starting at 9.30am and finishing with a light lunch.

This is a great opportunity to hear how an oil club operates and how it can benefit your community,” said Marian.

There is a fee of £20 per group (up to three people). To register, telephone Valerie on 028 2586 2777.