Retired March couple thrilled with support from Circle Housing’s care and support enterprise, Centra

Mr and Mrs Belton

Mr and Mrs Belton - Credit: Archant

A retired March couple who say they felt ‘helpless’ due to health and mobility issues had their lives turned around by using Circle Housing’s older people’s outreach service.

Mr and Mrs Belton

Mr and Mrs Belton - Credit: Archant

Richard and Anna Belton, who were living without central heating, contacted Centra after finding the transition into retirement difficult.

Richard was a lollipop man and is well-known in the community. However following his retirement, the couple say they had just been ‘surving month to month’.

Mrs Belton said: “We both have health and mobility issues and life was becoming increasingly difficult. We felt helpless.”

Following a self-referral, Centra visited the couple and carried out an assessment to determine what support was needed. Mr and Mrs Belton were assigned a support coordinator who visited regularly and spoke to them about the options available.

The private homeowners had no central heating in their house which was affecting their health and leading to the house’s decline. Centra referred them to the Healthy Homes Project - an affordable warmth project funded by the British Gas Energy Trust.

They were accepted for a grant to have gas central heating installed in the house and new insulation fitted. Healthy Homes also assessed their current utility providers, saving them money on electric bills.

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Centra identified that the couple may qualify for attendance allowance; a benefit for severely disabled people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care. They supported them through the application process which proved successful meaning that they were able to maximise their income with an additional a month.

Mrs Belton said: “The service has been absolutely wonderful right from the word go, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“Centra visited us very quickly, got things moving for us and they still keep in contact to see how we are getting on.

“We cannot thank them enough for all their support and for how they have improved our lives.”

The couple have since benefitted from additional income per month (including exemption for council tax), new rail grabs fitted in their home from Age UK), free gas central heating installed in their property and improved insulation and a significant reduction in utility bills.

Centra, Circle Housing’s care and support enterprise, is a free service available to people aged 65 and over and anyone living in sheltered housing in Fenland. It provides support to help local people make the most of living independently.

For more information about the scheme, email or call 0300 004 0349.

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