Friday, 25 April 2008

Molly is warm and well thanks to free insulation

A DUNSTER woman has become the 500th local resident aged 70 years or older to have her home insulated free of charge through the popular Somerset Warm and Well scheme
To mark the occasion, Mrs Molly Hathaway was presented with a bouquet of flowers by West Somerset Council’s health and well-being portfolio holder, Councillor Kate Kravis.
Somerset Warm and Well is a local scheme which offers residents free or discounted loft and cavity wall insulation.
Mrs Hathaway, who knew her home had never been insulated, contacted the scheme after hearing about insulation grants on Radio 4.
She said: “I wanted to find out if there was anything they could do for me.”
The team arranged a survey and found that Mrs Hathaway’s loft needed insulating and her windows were not draught proofed.
Because Mrs Hathaway was aged over 70 years, she was entitled to have all the work carried out for free.
Mrs Hathaway said the surveyors were ‘very good, very helpful’ and ‘quick to get in touch and dealt with the work in a very efficient way’.
Since having her loft insulated, Mrs. Hathaway has noticed her home keeps its heat much better, especially at night, and it is also less draughty.
She said: “Before, the wind would blow the curtains out, but it has been fine since they put the draught proofing round.”
Mrs Hathaway has talked about her experience at her local Women’s Institute.
She said: “Some people think that they may have to pay for it or are not too happy having people in their loft.
“I did not experience much disruption. It was definitely worth it - wonderful.”
Councillor Kravis said: “We are really proud of our partnership with Warm and Well because it directly helps local people to save money and to be more comfortable in their own homes.
“I would urge people to get in touch with the team, particularly as fuel bills are rocketing and insulating homes is one of the most simple and effective ways of saving money and energy.
“All applications are treated in confidence and the team is actively looking to help more people.”
Sarah Jeffrey, the Somerset Warm and Well manager, said: “Lots of residents put up with living in cold homes because they assume that home improvements would be too expensive.
“We are delighted that we have already helped 500 older people in West
Somerset to cut their bills and have more comfortable lives, and we urge all local residents to get in touch and see what we can do for them.”
Somerset Warm and Well is supported and part-funded by West Somerset Council.
Residents who are aged over 70 years, or on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, may be eligible for free loft or cavity insulation through the scheme, as well as hot water tank jackets and draught proofing.
Anybody who wants to find out what help is available should call freephone 0800 512 012 for a chat with the Somerset Warm and Well team.
  • Our photograph shows flowers being presented to Mrs Molly Hathaway (right) outside her Dunster home by West Somerset Council health and well-being portfolio holder Councillor Kate Kravis (centre) and Somerset Warm and Well marketing officer Lucy Hellier. Photo submitted.

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