Curtains from a condemned retirement home are salvaged this Friday and provided for free to struggling households. Staff from Christchurch business Arc Innovations are donating their time to remove the curtains which will be distributed to needy families through local charity Community Energy Action.
The soon to be demolished Churchill Courts retirement home approached local charitable trust Community Energy Action who has been running a Curtain Bank for 16 years. The charity’s Curtain Bank provides thermal curtains donated by the public to low incomes households for free. Thermal curtains are a good way to reduce heat loss from windows.
Community Energy Action lost their building in September and again in February. They have re-opened their Insulation Service and Energy Advice Service since with the Curtain Bank re-opening on Tuesday 9 August.
“We have worked hard to re-open the Curtain Bank but now we are desperate to receive curtains so we can start helping people again,” says Sheila Hailstone, acting Chief Executive of Community Energy Action Charitable Trust. “We have many people in need now it’s so cold and it’s fantastic to get these curtains.”
“Arc staff are excited to help Community Energy Action with their Curtain Bank,” says Simon Clarke, Chief Executive of Arc Innovations. “Although many of our staff also have had to deal with damage to or loss of homes, we have been lucky to have a secure work place. That’s why we wanted to help those less fortunate by assisting Community Energy Action with the removal of these curtains.”
Based in Christchurch, Arc has been at the forefront of smart metering services in New Zealand and has installed nearly 130,000 smart meters in homes and businesses throughout the country.
“We are very grateful for Arc’s help,” says Ms Hailstone. “This has been a very trying year for us as a charity and, although we need the curtains, we simply don’t have the capacity to remove them from the retirement home. This is a great team effort of all.”
The Churchill Courts retirement home which until last year could house up to 90 elderly people was badly damaged in the September earthquake and condemned after the February one. The buildings are safe to enter but the land is so damaged, they will need to be demolished.
As well as providing free curtains, Community Energy Action has a phone service for free home energy advice (0800 388 588). It also provides subsidised insulation and heating for all incomes with surpluses going to higher subsidies for vulnerable people.
“We’re there to keep the community warm,” Ms Hailstone says