She didn’t have the thousands of pounds needed to replace the oil tank and was facing a whole winter with no heating. Her pre-1860 home in rural Carmarthenshire was freezing, and she began to worry.
She started looking everywhere for help. “I’d spoken to so many different organisations and got nowhere” she said. “Sometimes a person would ring and say they would get back to you and then nothing.”
As the months got colder, it was impacting her already existing health problems. “I used an open fire in the lounge and an electric heater in the bedroom, but because the way the house is, it was still freezing. I actually went to bed with a face mask on because it kept my nose warm!”
Then, Christine heard about Care & Repair and was put in touch with Wayne Hughes, Care & Repair’s local Home Energy Officer. “He was totally and utterly amazing.” Christine said. “I had gone through quite a lot of other options, and it was all ‘No, we can’t do that’. But with Wayne, he just didn’t let it go, he didn’t give up, he just kept going and going and going.”
Wayne was happy to help, especially as he knew the financial burden a new oil tank can be. He explained, “The current regulations are that oil tanks must be double-bunded. So, to renew or replace is more costly because of this; £1200 just for the tank itself. And then there’s moving the oil out, getting rid of the old one, making sure the base is level or renewing the base. And that wasn’t even looking at the boiler!”
Wayne accessed the Care & Repair Winter Pressures Hardship Fund to fully cover the cost of the work, and by the end of January, the new oil tank had been installed. Wayne was able to inspect the work and ensure everything was in order so that Christine had her heating back on.
“It’s absolutely amazing, I just can’t believe that they did it” Christine said. “I’ve always been independent, and it’s quite hard to ask for things, but Wayne didn’t make me feel embarrassed about it. His whole attitude was just amazing.”
If we can help keep you warm at home this winter, please contact your local Care & Repair Agency.