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Frank’s story

An older man sits at a table. He has a walking stick and is looking directly at the camera, deep in thought.

Frank had been without heating or hot water for more than a year when he called our advice line. Here’s how we were able to step in and support him with life-changing energy advice.

This winter, millions of people like Frank won’t be able to afford to heat their homes. When Frank called our advice line, he’d been living without heating or hot water for 18 months.

A cold home is bad for your physical and mental health. Frank’s mental health had been hugely affected by his situation and he had become isolated from his family and friends.

Our advice team provided Frank with financial, practical, and emotional support to help him feel safe, warm, and healthy in his home. Here’s his story…

More than a year without heating or hot water

“I was in a bad way; no heating or hot water. But Jo from CSE was fantastic. She explained what might be possible to fix my situation and helped me through the whole thing. And now I have hot water and heating after living without it for over a year – it’s been absolutely life-changing.

It was my first time asking for help and I was dreading the phone call. I was concerned about wasting time and taking support away from people who needed it more. But Jo listened to me, understood what I was going through, and made me feel comfortable. I can’t say how much she helped my life.”

Our life-changing support

Jo, one of our energy advisors, was Frank’s caseworker. She helped him access funding for boiler repairs and insulation and ran a benefits check to make sure he was receiving all the financial support he was eligible for. This helps to make sure Frank has ongoing financial aid so that he can keep heating his home for all of his winters to come.

When Frank called, he, like so many others, was really struggling. I managed to get a grant to replace his broken boiler and get his heating and hot water back on. We switched energy supplier and installed insulation in his home to make it warmer and cheaper to heat. And finally, we made sure Frank was receiving the right support and benefits.

Jo, Frank’s caseworker

Beyond practical solutions

Our energy advisors also provide emotional support to clients, helping them to feel worthy of the help they need. Frank had put off calling us because he was worried his problems weren’t significant enough, that he’d be taking support away from somebody who needed it more. Jo listened to Frank’s concerns and reassured him that it was ok to ask for help. 

Part of my job is to provide a listening ear and do my best to make the people we support feel valued. Cold homes are bad for people’s physical and mental health and cause misery and social exclusion. And it’s not right that people in the UK are living without heating or hot water.

Jo, Frank’s caseworker

Here, Jo speaks about how she was able to help Frank feel safe and warm in his home:

Help us share the warmth this winter

With the cost of living and energy prices sky-high, people need our life-changing energy advice now more than ever. Help us to support more people like Frank by donating to our Share the Warmth appeal.

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