How walking a dog meant family with newborn baby got help heating their home
PUBLISHED: 10:38 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:34 09 March 2020
A family with a new baby, who are among more hundreds of Norfolk households supported to heat their homes, have urged other people to apply for the scheme which helped them.
Lee and Kayla Baxter, from Sprowston, are among more than 900 households to benefit from a scheme offering central heating system grants.
Broadland District Council, working with other councils, is offering the grants through the Norfolk Warm Homes Fund, provided by the National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC.
The scheme aims to incentivise installation of gas central heating.
Mr and Mrs Baxter recently had new gas central heating installed through one of the grants.
With Mrs Baxter a full time student at the University of East Anglia and Mr Baxter working part time hours, their old electrical warm air vent heating system was too expensive and inefficient.
Mr Baxter said he found out about the scheme through a chance walk with his dog, when he bumped into a council officer telling people about it.
He said: 'She was standing there with a clipboard and happened to say 'do you have central heating at home?'
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'It was funny, as I knew we had a baby on the way and I was worried about regulating the temperature at home.
'She said 'don't do anything', I might be able to help you there.'
The pair received a grant to install gas central heating.
Mr Baxter said energy bills had been cut, while he could now regulate the temperature better for his new-born daughter Phoebe.
After the new gas central heating was installed, the couple were able to turn a cupboard, which had been filled by the warm air heater, into a nursery expansion.
He said: 'It was an absolute godsend really. We're forever grateful.'
Karen Strandoo, warm homes programme manager at Broadland, said: 'Since the funding has been available, we have had nearly 550 applicants for first time central heating and helped over 900 households across Norfolk keep warm and reduce their energy bills.
'But we know there are many more people that still need this help.'
Anyone who would like help should visit www.norfolkwarmhomes.org.uk