Project that keeps el­derly warm in win­ter

LEAP pre­vents crises by fix­ing heat­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Helping Hand -

Most of us have been there: the win­ter starts to close in and the boiler packs in on cue.

What could have been an ex­as­per­at­ing and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion for one lo­cal res­i­dent has been re­solved, as she has just had a new boiler fit­ted with no stress, no cost and no fuss – thanks to one sim­ple phone call.

When she picked up the phone, it was to the Lightburn El­derly As­so­ci­a­tion Project (LEAP), a lo­cal char­ity es­tab­lished in 1992, which is based in Half­way and sup­ports older peo­ple across South La­nark­shire.

In Septem­ber this year, the res­i­dent turned on her heat­ing after the sum­mer to find it was no longer work­ing.

With limited in­come and the win­ter months loom­ing, she could not af­ford boiler break­down cover, never mind have the 24-year-old sys­tem re­placed.

She said: “It was a real worry to me at the time – I just didn’t know what I was go­ing to do. I knew I couldn’t live with­out a boiler but I just didn’t have the spare cash to have it re­placed.”

It’s a prob­lem many peo­ple mis­tak­enly think they have to face alone. For­tu­nately, she had heard about the work LEAP.

She phoned them and ex­plained that she had no heat­ing or hot wa­ter and was im­me­di­ately put through to LEAP’s Make a Dif­fer­ence Project, a home en­ergy ef­fi­ciency ini­tia­tive sup­ported by the Cli­mate Chal­lenge Fund which helps older peo­ple to stay warmer in win­ter, while re­duc­ing their en­ergy bills.

Project man­ager Wendy Rus­sell said: “Although we are not qual­i­fied to fix boil­ers, many of our vol­un­teers are ex­perts in DIY or ex-trades peo­ple, so they are trained in what to look out for.

“We sent Ian Rodgers out to have a look and he quickly re­alised that the boiler would be ir­repara­ble due to its age.

“He car­ried out a quick home en­ergy survey, which gives us the in­for­ma­tion we need to see how we can help our clients and then made con­tact with our part­ners at Home En­ergy Scot­land.”

Home En­ergy Scot­land are work­ing con­sis­tently to en­sure that Scot­tish res­i­dents don’t feel the freeze this win­ter by en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to have a survey of their home un­der­taken (such as those of­fered by LEAP for free) to max­imise en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and there­fore lower their en­ergy bills.

Through work­ing with LEAP, Home En­ergy Scot­land is help­ing even larger num­bers of older peo­ple in Scot­land stay warm through the win­ter months.

Within just two weeks the res­i­dent had a brand new boiler fit­ted.

She said: “I couldn’t be­lieve how easy it was! The folks at LEAP and Home En­ergy Scot­land took care of ev­ery­thing for me and kept me in­formed ev­ery step of the way.

“The company that came to fit the boiler were fan­tas­tic too. I couldn’t have asked

Cold com­fort LEAP handyper­son Ian Rogers and vol­un­teer David White fit­ting free draught ex­clud­ers at a back door

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