New chair for our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), a charity that helps vulnerable Britons to stay warm, safe and well in their own homes, has elected Manchester entrepreneur and campaigner Sara McKee as chair.
Sara has extensive experience in running blue-chip organisations, SMEs and large not-for-profits. She’s also influenced public policy for aged care, housing and welfare-to-work, and has set her sights on ending ageism and transforming lifestyle choices for older people via Evermore.
Sara replaces Stephen Burke, who chaired FILT for two years and has overseen a period of major growth. A £637k programme managed by FILT in 2015/16 has helped 3,600 people stay in their own homes warm, safe and well, and saved the NHS £2.4m.
Sara McKee said: “FILT looks after thousands of home owners who don’t have the resources to maintain their properties and often face hardships through cold, damp and uninhabitable situations. This has a knock on effect to local authorities and the NHS as it has been proven that poor housing has a massive impact on health.
“That’s why I’m passionate about building up FILT’s funds so that we can reach more people across ages who can continue to thrive at home with a little bit of support. A few hundred pounds in repair costs can be unaffordable for many but make all the difference to their long-term health and wellbeing. As incoming Chair, I intend to campaign actively and approach companies large and small to support those living in their communities – so prepare to dig deep.”
FILT finances practical work to the homes of hard-to-reach householders, for example boiler repairs, draught-proofing windows or safety checking and replacing old gas fires. Its programmes prevent poor health caused by cold homes, tackle gas safety issues and provide solutions for energy efficiency and fuel poverty. The charity works with nearly one hundred home improvement agencies (HIAs) across England to deliver the work on the ground.
In the future, FILT aims to expand the range of work it finances and is keen to partner with companies looking to reach vulnerable, older and disabled groups through corporate social responsibility funds.