The serving and ex-service community can often face multiple challenges when it comes to keeping warm at home. They are more likely to report long-term health problems compared to the general population, including mental health conditions such as PTSD. The transition to civilian life and getting to grips with practicalities around managing and paying for energy use can also be difficult.
NEA addressed some of these challenges through the Forces for Warmth project, working with the Royal British Legion and organisations supporting veterans to provide face-to-face advice to over 1000 service and ex-service personnel. 598 staff and volunteers were also provided with training to help them identify and assist clients in fuel poverty. A crisis fund was particularly vital in providing emergency credit for prepayment meters, as well as other goods.
Daniel, one of our Forces for Warmth clients shares his story:
“I came home from Afghanistan late 2016 after being part of a complex attack by the Taliban. I found myself struggling with mental health problems from my time in the Army and being in Afghanistan.
I spoke with Help for Heroes who found Forces for Warmth and I soon had one of their people around my house giving me some advice on how I could make my home warmer and save on the energy costs…the biggest problem was our 12-year-old boiler needed replacing. We had spent the winter of 2017 with no heating, so I wish we had found out about this type of help before.
We were soon in a lovely warm home with a new boiler and an extra radiator fitted. They also helped out by supplying the insulation for the floor and this was fitted soon after the boiler went in.
I can now get on with life knowing I have a room to go to if I need to and it’s warm. Time to move on with my life, get better and enjoy the rest of my life with my family.”
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