Latest news

Addressing our 100-year lives

This blog was written by Sara McKey, Chair of FILT I was privileged in March to be invited to join a small group of organisations led by The Design Council, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Centre for Ageing Better to a workshop to look at how we can facilitate independent living for our future 100-year lives. The group represented  …read more


Gas safety key to health and wellbeing

Can you imagine huddling in a sleeping bag on the floor of your living room, next to a single fan heater just to keep warm? Confining yourself to one room because your central heating doesn’t work and your entire house is cold. This is a real-life story of a man from Carlisle whose broken boiler  …read more

Repairman fixing a gas water heater with a screwdriver

A helping hand from BlueWatch

In the autumn of 2017, CFOA BlueWatch donated 1,000 Fire Angel cold detectors to Foundations and FILT. We then distributed the alarms to a number of community organisations across the north west of England: 500 to Care Network – Blackburn – an independent HIA serving the local authority areas of Blackburn and Darwen; 200 to  …read more

Eden 2018

FILT welcomes new Board appointee

Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) has appointed Jim Truscott, Partner of Beyond Corporate Law, to the Board of Trustees. Jim has more than 20 years’ corporate law experience, he is one of the founders of Beyond Professional Services Group, a former equity partner/owner of Heatons LLP and equity partner at Fieldfisher LLP. For over two  …read more

Jim Truscott

Our home is our castle – reflections on a year as Chair

Sara McKee reflects on a year as FILT Chair ahead of her appearance at the HousingLin annual conference where she’ll debate housing choices for older people. In 1644, English judge Sir Edward Coke was quoted as saying, “For a man’s house is his castle”. Since that time the expression is almost always “An Englishman’s home  …read more


Pilot to help make homes dementia friendly

People living with dementia and their families can now access funding to help them live at home for longer. The charity, Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), will allocate a £10,000 donation by residential developer Taylor Wimpey to four Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) – Age UK Isle of White, Lincolnshire Home Improvement Agency, Preston Care & Repair and  …read more


Tackling fuel poverty one home repair at a time

This Friday (23 February) is Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. A vital initiative to highlight the millions of people in the UK who can’t afford to heat their home, living each day chilled to the bone. It’s amazing to think there are still people who face the possibility of freezing in their own home. You would  …read more


Making warm homes a priority

FILT is thrilled to confirm that our partnership with npower delivering the npower Health Through Warmth Crisis Fund has been renewed for another year. During 2018 £220,000 in funding will be available for people living with long-term illnesses who are finding it hard to pay for heating and insulation measures in their homes. HIA caseworkers  …read more

Lady with thermostat 3

Renewed partnership with Gas Safe Charity continues to offer crucial support to HIA customers

Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is pleased to announce that it has renewed its partnership with Gas Safe Charity, now in its fifth year. Following an initial allocation of £275,000, an additional £50,000 has been made available from Gas Safe Charity to be used towards minor gas safety works in the homes of older and  …read more

Repairman fixing a gas water heater with a screwdriver

Help at home for elderly as winter falls

Winter has descended on the UK with snow and cold conditions expected to continue over the coming weeks. Many older and vulnerable people across the country will be suffering from the freezing weather, struggling to heat their cold and poorly insulated homes. Help is available for people at risk of fuel poverty via the Foundation  …read more


Small changes make a big difference

Minor home adaptions and repairs can make a big difference to older people’s health,  wellbeing and quality of life according to new research. The ‘Room to Improve’ report by the Centre for Ageing Better and the University of West of England, Bristol (UWE, Bristol) found investing in home improvements also delivers substantial savings for the  …read more


Taylor Wimpey donation helps our charity keep more people warm and well at home

Our charity has received another generous donation from housebuilding company Taylor Wimpey. The funding will be used to support life-changing interventions that make homes more energy efficient and easier to keep warm for vulnerable people. FILT funding streams enable our delivery partners to provide a range of support including repairs and improvements to the homes  …read more


Funding available to keep warm and safe at home this winter

Vulnerable Britons who are facing the choice of eating or heating this winter have been offered a lifeline. A report published in The Guardian highlighted concerns about the lack of Government funding to repair gas boilers in the lead-up to winter. However, a £275,000 grant scheme for gas boiler repairs is available from Foundations Independent  …read more

Lady with thermostat 3

How £110 can make a big difference

Around 1 in 9 British households live in fuel poverty. Millions of people can’t afford to heat their homes and many suffer from cold-related illness, often exacerbated by poor housing. Researchers from Bangor University recently examined the impact of warmer social housing on population health and the use of NHS services in the north-west.   They  …read more

Man fitting radiator

Keeping older people warm and out of fuel poverty in Surrey

Imagine being in your 90s and unwell, living alone without heating and hot water because you can’t afford to replace a failed boiler. That was the case for two Surrey women who both faced a cold and miserable winter, and the possibility of having to move out of their own home. The stress for both  …read more


Extra money available to keep South Yorkshire homes warmer

Yorkshire Housing’s Home Improvement Agency in Sheffield is delivering the ‘Warm at Home’ project which helps vulnerable people who might be suffering fuel poverty. This funding is available to home owners, free of charge and will be welcomed by many as we prepare for colder weather. The funding is available to access all year round.  …read more

Black gas stove and two burning flames close-up

Taylor Wimpey donation helps vulnerable people live in dignity in own homes

Our charity, which helps older and vulnerable people stay warm, safe and well in their own home has benefited from a large donation from Taylor Wimpey. The housebuilder has given £20,000 to the Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) to provide grants to fund vital home improvements when no other support is available. A further £1,400 was also  …read more

Mr Little

Lancashire unsung hero retires

Cynthia Hakin has been a caseworker for St Vincent’s Home Care and Repair in Haslingden, Lancashire, for more than a decade. Over the years, Cynthia has helped thousands of the most vulnerable in our communities to stay safe and warm in their own homes. She retires in June and FILT would like to thank this  …read more


Applications deadline extended for Gas Safe Charity funding

The our Gas Safe Charity programme, designed to improve gas safety in the homes of older or disabled people, will continue in its fifth year. We invite all home improvement agencies in England to make an application for funds that can be used on a variety of gas safety works, from servicing to boiler replacements. The deadline  …read more

Black gas stove and two burning flames close-up

Minor home repairs bring major benefits to health

Around 9,000 people died during the winter of 2014-15 as a result of living in a cold home. These figures, from a study by University College London, show that one fifth of the 43,900 excess winter deaths were caused by health conditions brought on or exacerbated by fuel poverty. The risks of cold weather to  …read more

Jan Gilbertson v2

There’s more to integrating housing and health than building new homes

Last year the FILT saved the NHS at least £2.4 million through house improvements for older and vulnerable people at risk of fuel poverty. We distributed grants worth £637,000 through our Warm at Home programme to 3,600 people in England, helping them stay safe warm and well in their own home. The grants were delivered  …read more

Man fitting radiator

Get help to stay warm at home

Older people and vulnerable adults who are struggling to keep warm in their homes are being urged to reach out to their local home improvement agency to access free grants. Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is raising awareness of the programmes it delivers via home improvement agencies (HIA) and handyperson services in England. FILT programmes fund  …read more


FILT guest blog on the Turn2Us website

We have been asked by our partners at Turn2Us to write a guest blog for their website. The article focuses on the funding we can offer to make homes warmer and safer. You can read the full article here.


Fix our broken housing, not just the market!

Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is calling on the Government and corporate Britain to dig deeper and fix the country’s broken housing as part of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day (17 February). We operate grants for local home improvement agencies (HIAs) to provide a range of support including repairs and improvements to the homes  …read more

Lady with thermostat 3

New Chair for our charity

We are pleased to announce that our charity has elected Manchester entrepreneur and campaigner Sara McKee as chair. Sara has extensive experience in running blue-chip organisations, SMEs and large not-for-profits. She’s also influenced public policy for aged care, housing and welfare-to-work, and has set her sights on ending ageism and transforming lifestyle choices for older people  …read more

FILT Chair

FILT continues partnership with SSE

The Warm at Home programme has received further funding from energy provider SSE. It will continue to enable quick interventions to make the homes more energy efficient and/or easier to keep warm. The measures will range from draught proofing and fitting reflector radiator panels to replacement of boilers and central heating systems. The programme will  …read more


Warm at Home programme has helped thousands of householders stay in their own home ‘warm, safe and well’

The timely interventions provided social contact, emotional security, and wellbeing to householders who were in poor health and often experiencing isolation Householders reported considerable improvements in their home conditions and warmer temperatures, which led to enhanced comfort For every £1 of the funding distributed to households, the programme produced almost £4 of benefits in terms  …read more


FILT partnership helps more people to live healthier, more independent lives

A partnership project supporting people over the age of 50 in St Helens to lead healthier, more independent lives in their own homes is celebrating its first anniversary. The home support service is a lottery-funded partnership made up of our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust, the British Red Cross and the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS  …read more


We are looking for new trustees to join our board

Foundations has been the government appointed national body for Home Improvement Agency (HIA) services since 2000. Foundations set up the charity Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), a growing and innovative national charity that raises funds to help older adults and disabled people be warm, safe and well in their own homes. As a forward thinking charity, we  …read more


FILT funds floods officer position to help Carlisle flood victims get back on their feet

Meet Jack Dilley – the man offering a lifeline to flood victims. He has taken on a key role offering extra support to those hit by the storms of last December and helping them get back in their homes and protect their properties against future disasters. The floods officer has just started the new role with  …read more

Jack Dilley Flood Recovery Support Officer with Carlisle City Council: 20 September 2016

Report highlights role for Disabled Facilities Grants in linking up housing, health and social care

Some 40,000 people a year receive Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) to pay for home adaptations such as stairlifts, level access showers and ramps. This is set to rise to 85,000 by the end of the decade thanks to increases in government funding. It should pave the way to greater increase use of a cost-effective grant  …read more

DFG report front cover

Homelife Carlisle win ‘FILT Delivery Partner of the Year’ award

This year’s winners of the national Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards have been announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords. Organised by Foundations and sponsored by AKW, the annual awards recognise the efforts of England’s 200-strong HIA sector to offer a wide range of home support to disabled and older vulnerable  …read more


Missing link

Housing adaptations can help old patients move from expensive hospital beds to the comfort of their own home, says Paul Smith – Foundations’ director. This article was originally published in Inside Housing The recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) on ‘Discharging Older Patients from Hospital’ made for uncomfortable reading. A rapidly increasing older  …read more

iStock_000002289643_Medium 2

Think CO materials available

The Think CO (Carbon Monoxide) project from Gas Safe Charity aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning with people who work in the homes of vulnerable people. Free posters and leaflets are available to download and print and a generic presentation. If you are interested in learning more about how Gas  …read more

Think CO

DCLG match funding for floods caseworker

We are delighted to confirm that we have received the news that DCLG will match fund the generous donation received from npower to fund a Floods Caseworker for the Carlisle area.  Once in post they will help individuals who were victims of the flooding towards the end of last year who now need help with  …read more


We need a flood resilience strategy that is about more than sandbags

Original article published in Local Government Chronicle 22.02.16 On the face of it, Carlisle is getting back to some sense of normality after the devastation caused by December’s floods. A huge effort by communities and various agencies has got the city moving again, even if there’s still much to do to repair vital infrastructure across  …read more


FILT receives funding from npower for caseworker in flood hit areas

In the aftermath of December’s floods, FILT and Homelife Carlisle will be ensuring help is available for vulnerable households. Thanks to funding from npower, a worker will be on hand to help people find their way through the difficulties to returning home. They will help with things like assessing damage to heating and appliances, sorting  …read more


Cold Homes Week 2016

FILT are supporting Cold Homes Week 2016, over 90% of our funds are spent on keeping homes warm for vulnerable people. Cold Homes Week (1-5 February 2016) is a week of action on fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. For more information visit    


New FILT Partners brochure launched

FILT has launched an exciting new brochure aimed at potential partners, take a look – FILT Partners Brochure 2016.


Npower Health Through Warmth Hardship Fund 50:50 Match Funding almost spent

The npower Health Through Warmth Hardship Fund generously awarded FILT an extra £75,000 in late 2014, in addition to other HTW funding that FILT already manages.  This was utilised through a 50:50 match funding project whereby local authorities agreed to match FILT funding for new boilers for those in need. FILT invited Home Improvement Agencies  …read more

HIA National Conference – Booking is now open!

Booking now open. The HIA National Conference aims to inspire the home improvement agency sector to embrace innovation and work collaboratively to improve services. Against a backdrop of scarce funding and increasing demand, our sector needs to find new ways of delivering quality services and forging productive new partnerships with the local health and care  …read more


FILT Launches emergency floods fund and appeal to help vulnerable householders make homes warm and safe

Vulnerable householders hit by floods in the North West this week are to get help with repairs and heating, thanks to an emergency fund launched today. The national charity, Foundations Independent Living Trust, has launched the FILT Floods Fund and Appeal to support those affected by the flooding. Up to £200,000 of the charity’s £1million  …read more


Spending review autumn 2015 – summary

On Wednesday the Chancellor George Osborne made his autumn statement which sets out his spending plans to 2020. This briefing sets out the policy statements that have implications for the HIA sector along with some instant reactions from Foundations. Spending review briefing Autumn 2015


Winter deaths ‘highest since 1999’

  Official figures for England and Wales show an increase in the number of winter deaths, an estimated 43,190 excess winter deaths occurred in 2014/15 – the highest number since 1999/00.[1] The data released by ONS shows that most of the deaths involved people over 75. There were an estimated 36,300 excess winter deaths in  …read more


Research reveals impact of adapted homes on independent living

An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care. It shows that those who have had adaptations and later move into care do so some four years later than those who have not had adaptations carried out  …read more


Half of low income working households struggling to afford to heat their homes

New research by the national charity Turn2us has found that one in two low income households are struggling to afford their energy costs, despite being in work. Amongst the hardest hit are people with disabilities, with over two in three (67%) reporting their struggles, and families, with almost two-thirds of working parents (65%) unable to meet these costs.  …read more


Yorkshire Housing launch free handyperson service for Rotherham residents

Yorkshire Housing’s award-winning Home Improvement Agency (HIA) has launched a new free handyperson service to help older residents in Rotherham continue to live at home independently, safely and comfortably. The new contract with Rotherham Borough Council will mean that older persons,  people with disabilities, life long limiting illness or those who are vulnerable, for example  …read more

HIA Launch 2

NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign takes to the road

The Stay Well This Winter campaign goes on the road today as it drives home vital messages to the public. The campaign is aimed at helping people prepare against the onset of winter and to raise awareness among those in key risk groups – such as the frail and elderly and those with long term  …read more


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  …read more


Fuel Poverty Action Guide 2015

The latest edition of the Fuel Poverty Action Guide from DECC and NEA highlights the work of HIAs and Foundations in helping clients access a range of services to improve, maintain or adapt their homes. Fuel Poverty Action Guide 2015 13th Edition (Sept 15)


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  …read more


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  …read more


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  …read more


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

Patrons 2015 Website

Safe and Well – Helping older people get ready for winter this Home Safety Week

Fire and Rescue Services are working in partnership with health to help keep older people safe and warm during the winter months. Read more …

Black gas stove and two burning flames close-up

New St Helens Support at Home service launched

Foundations Independent Living Trust is delighted to be working alongside The British Red Cross and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to support older people living in St Helens. The St Helens Support at Home team of Red Cross staff, volunteers and a health trainer are based in the local area and are able to  …read more

Ex St Helens players Kel Coslet (far right) and Geoff Pimlett (far right) with the mayor and mayoress of St Helens, councillor Steve Glover and Mrs Lynn Glover and Home Support project members Nichola Yates, Nalini Patel Rob McNally

FILT supports the fifth annual Gas Safety Week

The fifth annual Gas Safety Week (14 – 19 Sept 2015) will see organisations across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year, at least 68,000 homes in the UK escaped deadly gas  …read more


How can organisations help people with hoarding tendencies?

The Compulsive Hoarding Project began as an innovative two year research and development project between the Orbit Coventry Care and Repair team, a Home Improvement Agency, Coventry University and the Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The initial aims of the project were to explore the most effective ways of addressing compulsive hoarding at a local level, as well  …read more

Man at sink

Making home adaptations a health priority

This week has seen yet more negative articles about older people, now labelling those who choose to live in their current home as ‘hogging family homes’. Not only does this negative language drive intergenerational strife, but it also deflects attention from the underlying problems of a dysfunctional housing market. This emotive promotion of the benefits  …read more

Handyman 1

HIA sector at the heart of NICE cold homes guidance

On 5 March NICE issued new guidance on how to reduce deaths and illness caused by cold homes. Aimed at commissioners and service providers, the guideline presents a major opportunity for the home improvement agency sector and its charitable arm, FILT (Foundations Independent Living Trust). It also ties in with the Department of Energy &  …read more


New programme will help thousands of vulnerable people living in cold homes

SSE has awarded FILT £850,000 in funding to improve the homes of vulnerable people through to March 2016. The Warm at Home programme will reach 4,500 vulnerable householders and carry out 2,200 warm homes jobs needed to keep people safe and warm. By repairing boilers, draught proofing and improving heating efficiency, Warm at Home aims  …read more


Help us help more vulnerable people in 2018
Find out how you can make a difference

Foundations Independent Living Trust

The Old Co-op Building
11 Railway Street
Glossop, Derbyshire
SK13 7AG
T 0300 124 0316

Registered Charity No: 1103784

Supported by