HIA uses BBC Local Radio to highlight funding available

Mark Deer of Cornwall Home Solutions spoke to BBC Radio Cornwall at the end of September to promote the availability of their FILT Gas Safe funding.

The phones were red hot after the interview on 29 September, increasing from three referrals at the time to forty referrals after the show with another 12 households on the waiting list.

Mark spoke to Laurence Reed on the lunchtime show highlighting how winter is on the way and it’s a good time to think about ensuring all your gas appliances are safe.   Cornwall Home Solutions received £5000 of funding from the Gas Safe scheme and will now be using this to work their way through the list of those who called after the show and are eligible for a boiler service.

Home Improvement Agency pen portraits

Foundations has published a series of pen portraits illustrating good practice within the home improvement agency sector. These examples of innovative work focus on Integration, Partnership working, Disabled Facilities Grants, Innovation, Dementia and Winter Warmth.

Innovation – Revival HIA 

Integration – Sunderland HIA

Dementia – Care & Repair Leeds

DFG – Papworth Trust

Winter warmth – Homelife Carlisle

Partnership – Lincolnshire HIA

2015/16 Cold Weather Plan for England

The Cold Weather Plan for England gives advice on preparing for the effects of winter weather on people’s health and was first published in 2011. There are many avoidable deaths each winter in England, primarily due to heart and lung conditions from cold temperatures rather than hypothermia. The reasons why more people die in winter are complex and interlinked with fuel poverty, poor housing and health inequalities as well as circulating infectious diseases and the extent of snow and ice. The winter period not only sees a significant rise in deaths but also a substantial increase in illnesses.

The Cold Weather Plan for England helps to raise the public’s awareness of the harm to health from cold, and provides guidance on how to prepare for and respond to cold weather which can affect everybody’s health. It triggers actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people who have health, housing or economic circumstances that increase their risk of harm. Strong local leadership and partnership working at all levels across sectors is seen as vital to tackle the range of causes and reduce the number of ‘excess’ deaths that are observed each winter.


New FILT Chief Executive

FILT are delighted to announce that Andy Chaplin has agreed to take on the role of Chief Officer for the charity from 1 November 2015. Previously Andy headed the national body for Home Improvement Agencies for five years during which time he also provided a supportive role to the FILT Board to help them develop the growth plans for FILT.

Considerable experience was gained by Andy  successfully leading the development of new and existing services for socially excluded groups over the past ten years and more –  drawing on the management skills he developed and honed in his former career with Barclays Bank

Andy is also a Trustee (and chair designate) of Manor Gardens Welfare Trust delivering health and wellbeing services in LB Islington.  In the past he has also served on the board of the Community Development Finance Association.

New FILT Patrons

We are delighted to announce two new Patrons of FILT – Lord Richard Best and Sir George Young, joining Baroness Kay Andrews. Lord Best, OBE is a British social housing leader and member of the House of Lords.  Baron Young of Cookham was previously Chair of Trustees for FILT.  For more information visit filt.org.uk/about-us/our-trustees/