The sun might be shining, but one Swindon resident is already well prepared for the winter thanks to npower’s Health Through Warmth scheme.
54-year-old Patrick McLoughlin (pictured), a former member of the armed forces, was helped by npower’s Health Through Warmth scheme after his boiler was condemned in 2009, leaving him without heating. As the winter weather set in, the cold conditions in Patrick’s home started to aggravate his osteoarthritis.
npower’s Health Through Warmth scheme is managed locally by Ridgeway Care & Repair, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and NHS Swindon. The scheme aims to help vulnerable people whose health is made worse by cold, damp living conditions by assisting with the installation of appropriate heating and insulation measures and providing energy efficiency advice.
Patrick was referred to the scheme by Ridgeway Care & Repair and Health Through Warmth arranged for a brand new boiler to be fitted. As Patrick was formerly a member of the armed forces, the scheme contacted the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, known as SSAFA Forces Help, which sourced funding from The Royal British Legion and The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust. The remaining balance was paid for from the unique npower Health Through Warmth Crisis Fund.
Patrick comments: “I am relieved and grateful that Health Through Warmth was able to provide me with a new boiler. After being made redundant in 2009 I was spending a lot of time at home and the cold conditions were aggravating my osteoporosis. It’s fantastic that there is a scheme like Health Through Warmth available for local Swindon residents. I’ve recently had a double hip replacement operation and it was great to be able to return to a warm home to recover.”
Health Through Warmth usually relies on community workers to refer people to the scheme, but since the beginning of 2010, Swindon residents have been encouraged to contact the scheme directly if they feel they may be eligible.
Elaine Midwinter, Health Through Warmth scheme manager, explains: “Health Through Warmth has been helping Swindon residents since 2008, and as Patrick’s case demonstrates, people of any age can be affected by cold and damp related illnesses. I’d like to urge residents in the area who think they might be eligible for assistance to make contact and see if we can help.”
npower’s Health Through Warmth scheme works in partnership with Ridgeway Care & Repair, Swindon Borough Council, NHS Swindon and the Energy Saving Trust advice centre. The scheme is currently in its tenth year, having launched in collaboration with the NHS and NEA in 2000, and Swindon is now one of 15 areas of England and Wales where Health Through Warmth offers help to residents who experience cold and damp related illnesses and are in need of energy efficiency advice and heating measures.
Since the scheme was launched in Swindon in October 2008, Health Through Warmth has facilitated over £250,000 worth of heating and insulation measures for local residents, and £39,000 has been accessed from the unique npower Health Through Warmth Crisis Fund.
For more information about Health Through Warmth and for free impartial advice, please call your Swindon based Energy Saving Trust advice centre, on free phone 0800 512 012 or visit www.healththroughwarmth.com