HUNDREDS of people in Yorkshire have begun to benefit from a new charitable trust that helps British Gas customers facing household debt problems.

The British Gas Energy Trust - paid for by £10m from British Gas - will provide financial help so domestic customers can clear arrears and can concentrate on their ongoing bills.

Some help is also available for people who need support with other essential household items.

The trust is operating independently of British Gas and will be governed by voluntary trustees.

Mike Lake, director general of Help the Aged and chairman of the trust, said: "This is an exciting, important and extremely valuable initiative established with the generous support of British Gas.

"It will enable us to help households who are struggling to pay their energy bills at a time when they might be facing hardship or difficult family circumstances."

Visit the trust website at www.britishgasenergy