Mr and Mrs C’s story

Mr and Mrs C are both in their 90s and have lived in their detached, pre-fabricated bungalow for the past 30 years having chosen the property as their retirement home. The bungalow was heated by a back boiler and coal fire.

In June 2015, their chimney sweep was carrying out a routine clean of the chimney when he noticed that the back boiler was leaking. He condemned the boiler and, having concerns for his clients’ welfare with no heating and limited hot water, contacted the Care & Repair Manager for Dumfries & Galloway.

He then referred the case to the Community Liaison Officer of Home Energy Scotland (HES), to carry out a visit and assess if HES could provide any assistance. The visit was carried out promptly and the office determined the couple required urgent assistance and should be treated as an Occupational Therapy (OT) referral as opposed to waiting for the new tranche of HES funding to be released in September.

The formal OT referral was received by Care & Repair in July. In discussion with the couple, it was agreed that the coal fire needed to be removed and an electric heating system installed to replace it. The works were instructed to a local firm in September and completed in October, just 4 months after the chimney sweep’s initial visit.

Both Mr and Mrs C are delighted with their new electric heating system and are finding it much easier and cleaner to use than their former coal fire. The works were completed within 1 day and the installer visited again a few days later to ensure all was working correctly.

Thanks to promotional partnership work through the hub – your community action centre’s Winter Warmth for older people project, the chimney sweep was aware of Care & Repair and was able to make the referral. Had this not been done, Mr and Mrs C may have waited some time before any assistance was forthcoming.

As it was, this case demonstrates exemplar inter-agency working with involvement and coordination from the chimney sweep, Home Energy Scotland, the Occupational Therapy Service, Care & Repair and the local contractor.

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