Barbara’s home, near Bridgend, had rotting windows, a dangerous gas fire and a conservatory that needed to be demolished. At 76 years old and after having two strokes, she was unable to maintain her home.

Through the hospital, Barbara was referred to Care & Repair and caseworker Christine Beadsworth went to visit her and saw straight away the problems being faced. She said: “When I saw the condition of the windows and doors, I wondered how our funds would ever cover the cost of the work on that scale. I could see how concerned she was about them, as they were letting in extreme weather and were a security risk. The front single pane window was almost falling out!”

Barbara lives in a 1960s dormer bungalow, which was in a very poor, dilapidated condition. Barbara said: “When it snowed and there was wind, the snow used to come in through the back door. The window I had in the front lounge was old and not in a good state, I was worried when my grandson was here in case he went through it. It was dangerous.”

Care & Repair arranged the removal and replacement of three disintegrated wooden windows, and a front and back door, which were a security risk and letting in the cold and damp.

Christine got quotes for the work and investigated what grants were available to help. She said: “When the quote came through, it exceeded our normal resources by a long way. However, after some advice and much juggling, I was able to piece various grants together. I ended up covering a window by one grant, one and a half doors by another, until it was finally all funded by 7 grants!”

The state of Barbara’s home was only going to make her health worse, so securing the home and eliminating draughts was important. Barbara explained: “I had an old gas fire and an open chimney. I feel much better now that’s been taken and away and boarded up – there’s no draught coming there any more. I have arthritis, so being warm is a good thing.”

The work is ongoing, and Barbara still needs the conservatory demolished, and her bathroom changed to a wet room, as her mobility is not as good as it used to be. Christine explains: “I referred the bathroom to our occupational therapist and Barbara will be having a level access shower, including a full bathroom upgrade. Because I was able to maximise her incomes, she has been able to purchase a riser recliner chair and may be able to fund some decluttering, which might be our next project. We are still in touch after 18 months of work in progress.”

The Caseworker role is vital and incredibly rewarding for Christine, she said: “Every day I feel satisfaction for what I have achieved and the privileged role I have as a caseworker. I enjoy providing tangible and emotional support to our clients and their carers.”

Barbara now has a much warmer and safer home. “I feel more secure now the work has been done. They’ve done a great job, and always cleared up any mess they made. I had nothing to clean up after them.” Barbara said.

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