Southampton Healthy Homes: George’s story

George’s daughter found our details online as their boiler was leaking water and, after paying out £150 for an installer to fix it previously, they couldn’t afford to pay to get an engineer out again. They’d also been told that if the boiler leaks again it wouldn’t be fixable.

A Southampton Healthy Homes advisor arranged to visit to fill in an application form for a grant through the Southampton Healthy Homes project as the household’s benefits did not qualify them for assistance under the national ECO grant scheme. During the initial phone call the advisor checked they had some heating in the property, as due to George’s health conditions it is essential he keeps warm. The clients were also given details of heating engineers registered with Gas Safe and Trading Standard’s Buy With Confidence scheme, so they could start getting quotes as soon as possible. As the family were still switching the boiler on every so often the advisor set up a carbon monoxide alarm for them too during the first visit.

tEC image_hot waterDue to the family’s circumstances and George’s health conditions, including COPD and a crumbling spine, it was agreed to fully fund the boiler replacement for them. The heating engineers were able to install within two weeks of the grant being awarded, because of the urgency of the situation. Replacing the boiler has benefited George’s health and he said,

“Being able to bathe on a daily basis is now a norm, rather than only if the old boiler decided to work. All the family benefit from this now. I myself need to have a hot bath at least twice daily to ease back and joint pains.”

As well as applying for a grant to help replace the boiler, the advisor also discussed the condensation and damp problem they had in the bathroom, and how they can remove and prevent this happening. During the home visit the family mentioned they were concerned about security in their home, as they had been a victim of crime, so a referral was made to the Blue Lamp Trust who can help with improving the security in someone’s home. In addition, as they only had one smoke alarm upstairs and not one downstairs, a referral was made to the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for them to visit the household.

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, please call the Southampton Healthy Homes team on Freephone 0800 804 8601 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or email keepwarm@environmentcentre.com to speak to an advisor.