People we have helped

Read about the people we are helping and have helped.

Pam's story: Funding for providing a new heating system for a cold, damp home increasing health and mental wellbeing.

In tears Pam said; “It would be impossible to explain how grateful and appreciative I am for your help and how quick and efficient you have been – I am not used to this sort of help at all and it has been quite overwhelming. No one has done anything like this before for me, my boiler broke and hasn't been used for years as I lost my job and was choosing between paying for food or filling my oil tank for the heating and I couldn't pay to fill the oil tank, at times I was living in the dark". Pam from Coven was referred to the Council's Warmer Homes Scheme by a local Councillor and partner agency after training was given regarding the problems of fuel poverty in the area and the effects that cold homes can have on peoples' health and wellbeing together with causing social isolation. She had no heating or hot water and was burning waste wood donated by others to keep one room warm in her home. Pam received several visits from the Council and partner agency's finally she gained our trust and let us in to help her. We were then able to find funding for replacing a dangerous fuse board through a local charity funding and install a mains gas supply to her property through ‘Affordable Warmth Solutions', and have put her forward for funding for a new boiler and heating system. Together we also helped her with her benefits and got her the Warm Home Discount from her energy supplier of £140 together with reducing her water bill. This has resulted in her developing her self-confidence feeling that someone cared and is now able to move forward in improving her life by tidying her house, inviting visitors into her home and planning for her future, which beforehand she could not see any future. Partnering with Age UK should hopefully now see her having the long term support she needs. This case has enabled us to see the links between a cold home and residents' health and wellbeing creating social isolation for many vulnerable people, shown in the diagram below.

Desmond's story: External Wall Insulation Park Homes.

The South Staffs Warmer Homes Advice Line conducted follow up interviews as to the benefits of the External Wall Insulation (EWI) measures accessed for a number of vulnerable residents living in Park Homes funded through the South Staffs Warmer Homes projects. The overall picture is that the householders were ‘over the moon' about the effects of the EWI. Their homes were ‘warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, they were spending less money on energy, there was less damp, their homes looked good and would require less maintenance'. Desmond said, ‘I feel like I have won the lottery! Now I don't have the added worry about trying to keep my wife warm as the cold was not helping my wife's health conditions.'

Gordon's story: Health & Wellbeing.

Gordon was invited to attend the work club as he had fallen behind with his Council Tax payments; having never previously missed a payment. When he attended the work club, it was clear he had a number of issues. He had been made redundant 22 years earlier and had not worked/claimed benefits since as he had been living off his capital; he owned his home as he had lived with his parents who were now both deceased. He had made a claim for ESA that was paid initially but then suspended awaiting medical evidence, his Doctor was not supportive in recognising his depression and mental state at that time. His only support network was his sister who was nursing her ill husband and therefore was not around as much as she had been. Gordon had very little money left, was behind with his utility bills and had lost 2 stone in weight in a couple of months as he could not afford to eat well. His boiler had broken and his hot water only came from an electric shower. At the first meeting he completed the triage form and his support needs were identified. A referral was made to CAB for a food parcels, to Age UK Social Prescribing Pilot for social support and to the Casserole Club. Gordon was advised to go to the Dr's as soon as possible and to get a sick note and also to make a claim for PIP. A referral was made to the Fire Service to provide him with an electric blanket and temporary heaters while the South Staffs Warmer Homes Advice Line found funding from the Staffordshire Resilient Communities - Winter Warmth Project for a grant to replace his boiler, as he had no income/savings the contribution that would normally be expected to be met by him was funded by the South Staffordshire Council's Winter Warmth project. Gordon has attended the work club on a regular basis; with support from the benefits advisor his ESA was reinstated. He was awarded Council Tax Discretionary Support which meant he had no Council tax to pay for the rest of this financial year. During his attendance at the work club, Gordon has also spent some time on the computers, learning how to log on, he now has an email address and is able to send and receive emails. His health outcomes are now greatly improved as is his depression after having a major worry removed. Asked to comment he stated that, “I couldn't be happier. This is amazing! Thanks for all your help".

Boiler Replacement Case study – Wheaton Aston area.

Ms R was referred by a Home Improvement Agency. Ms R has multiple serious health conditions including fibromyalgia leaving her in need of full time care. The homeowners were also in financial difficulty. The oil fired boiler had been repaired a number of times and was now leaking. The location of the boiler also needed moving to enable the room to be used as a bedroom for Ms R. seemed to qualify for funding no installer could be found due to the complexities of the install. The Energy Advice Line referred the client to the energy company SSE, who offered a good rate of funding and the flexibility to take on ‘off-gas' jobs. In March 2016 full funding was secured for the boiler replacement.

Draught proofing case study - Kinver.

Mrs S, who is over 60 and recently widowed, had a chronic illness and lack of mobility. She lives in a ground floor flat which was very draughty in winter and was affecting Mrs S's comfort in her home. The advice line was able to find funding and procure a local contractor ‘handy man' to visit the property and suggest works to improve her comfort. The cause of draughts was identified as worn window seals and protruding draughts. The contractor was able to source and replace seals throughout the windows, ready for the colder weather.

Home visit boiler repair case study - Codsall.

Mr N's boiler had broken and he could not afford the call out fee to see if it could be fixed. He has Parkinsons, hypertension and a history of strokes. A home visit was made to visit him within two days of his call after checking he fulfilled a vulnerability criterion, as there was concern for his welfare and the issue couldn't be resolved over the phone. The client was using expensive electric plug in heaters and was given advice about keeping warm to avoid putting his health at risk. Checks were made to ensure he was signed up to the Priority Services Register and receiving Warm Home Discount. His cavity wall was suspected to be unfilled and was referred for free Cavity Wall Insulation. Checks were made to ensure he was on the correct energy tariff. Funding was identified for a local Gas Safe engineer to complete a temporary repair that evening and later a repair made to the boiler as it was generally in good condition and did not need to be replaced. The client said, “I could not fault the service you have provided. My heating was repaired within a week of contacting the service. The heating engineer was excellent".

Home visit case study - Perton

Mrs A was in her 80s, hard of hearing, suffering from anxiety and was convinced that inadequate loft insulation was making her home cold and contributing to her poor health. Through a home visit loft and walls were inspected and referred for free cavity wall insulation and an installer was asked to quote for insulation to the loft hatch. Benefits and energy bills were checked to see if she was eligible for further help or if she would benefit from a tariff switch.

Energy bill case study saved Mr D £275 a year!

Mr D rang in complaining that he felt his energy bills were extremely high and that there seemed to be nothing he could do about it. He had never switched suppliers as he felt, “it was not worth it because it was complicated to do and didn't make any real difference". He said his energy supplier had switched him on to a fixed tariff some time ago and that it was due to expire fairly soon. The Warm Home Discount was discussed to make sure Mr D didn't lose out by switching to a supplier not on the scheme. Also discussed was the benefits and possible downsides of fixed tariffs and the possible downside of exit fees. The Advice Line was able to save £215 per year on his energy bills and also a potential saving of £60 a year from the energy efficiency advice he was given, this gave Mr D a potential annual saving of £275. Mr D said, “Thanks very much for that. It was much simpler than I expected and it really will save me money."

Boiler replacement case study - Great Wyrley

Mr O was suffering from a serious heart condition and clinical depression. He was on benefits due to a long term sickness. His boiler was old and had broken down leaving him without heating or hot water. We organised emergency heating while they worked to access a number of pots of funding from several different sources which were put altogether to pay for a replacement boiler costing £2,240. Mr O now has a new boiler delivering a functioning heating system and hot water. His health outcomes are now greatly improved as is his depression after having a major worry removed. Asked to comment he stated that “I couldn't be happier. This is amazing! Thanks for all your help"

Savings from LED lights case study Bilbrook

‘Bilbrook Parish Council changed their Christmas lights to LED lights which last 20 times as long and saved over £500 over one Christmas, half of their energy costs'.

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Data Protection

The Strategic Planning Team manages and maintains a register of persons who have an interest in local planning documents (Local Plan Database); those who wish to register land for future development on our Self and Custom Build Register and/or Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA); and regarding Empty Properties and Warmer Homes. In order to do this in an effective way we will need to collect and use personal information about you. For more information about how we process this data see Strategic Planning Team - Data Protection.

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