Project that keeps elderly warm in winter
LEAP prevents crises by fixing heating
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