“I used to have two hot water bottles and a blanket over my legs when watching tv. I lived like that for 10 years because I couldn’t afford to finish the work. Now I have my house back thanks to Building for Humanity.

While working full time, Sarah from Camborne in Cornwall, started renovations to remove crumbling plaster on her 200-year-old home. However, tragedy struck and Sarah was involved in a life-changing accident.

Left unable to work and unable to pay for the renovations to be completed, Sarah was confined to a single downstairs room in her home.

She said: “It’s a very old, cold, damp house. The old rotting floor had been ripped up and the crumbling plaster had been taken off the walls and replaced with tarpaulin.”

A couple of years ago Sarah had central heating installed, running off gas bottles – but due to the integrity of the house it was too costly to run.

Sarah explained: “Any heat from the wood burner in the kitchen just escapes, and I couldn’t afford to keep replacing the gas bottles. The house was freezing. I was starting to believe that my house would be like this forever. It has been horrible living like that in those conditions.

“One day, I had a leaflet posted through my door from Building for Humanity. With nothing to lose, I called them about the internal and external wall insulation.

I couldn’t believe how simple the process was. On the same day I received the leaflet I called the team, went through a few simple questions to check my eligibility, and within days I was approved.

Just a few short weeks later, the workers arrived to carry out the improvements.

Sarah said: “I thought they would take one look and leave – but they didn’t. Dave from Building for Humanity said ‘we don’t have problems, we have solutions’. And he was right; four days later my house was transformed.

“The team just got on with it. I have never seen a group of people work so hard. They never stopped. I am so grateful for their help.”

Sarah said her health conditions, worsened by cold environments, have also been improved since the work was completed.

She added: “My home is so much warmer and quieter. I didn’t realise how much of a difference having insulated walls would make.

“There’s more work to do, but now I can visualise it getting finished. I don’t have holes in my wall covered over by a tarpaulin anymore, and I don’t have spiders! I can keep it cleaner, and more importantly I can take my coat off indoors.

“I am totally overwhelmed. It has been life changing and Building for Humanity have given me my house back. The heating is now a lot more effective and I don’t need the hot water bottles to watch tv!”

“ I don’t think Building for Humanity realise how life changing it has been. I have already recommended them to lots of people.”

Building for Humanity are now trying to access funding to get a ground source heat pump for Sarah to help her heat her home for less.

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