Chris warms to Stelrad radiators

Just occasionally, leading radiator manufacturer Stelrad Radiators is called upon to help worthy causes usually by providing radiators on a charitable basis from its National Distribution Centre in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, and it has recently been able to contribute to the rescuing of a man in the Leeds area who has needed support in a big way.

The last twelve months have been a trying time for Chris Horncastle. Chris lives in Morley on the southern outskirts of Leeds and he got home just before Christmas 2022 to find a fire engine outside his home, smoke billowing out from the windows. Despite several efforts to get into the house to rescue possessions, the smoke drove him back. As well as losing everything he possessed, his two wonderful cats perished in the fire as well.

His home was totally gutted and as part of the situation he found himself in, he discovered his home insurance had expired. Chris has mental health issues on top of the situation he was now in. He found himself in dire straits.

It’s at times like this that you need friends to show their friendship and to gather round and help you out. Chris was amazed that his friends turned up to help almost immediately. The inside of the house needed gutting – the plaster on the walls and ceilings needed replacing, the doors and windows were beyond repair and the heating system had been destroyed.

On the night of the fire, Chris and his mates had been at a music event at the Leeds Arena. His friend Kev Richardson had not known him as long as the rest of the group of friends heading out that evening, but he had come to know Chris through the Mens Positive Mental Health Coffee Club that Chris is a big part of locally. Chris had a reputation for being willing to go the extra mile for attendees at the club and to do what was necessary for anyone who was having a tough time. Ironically, the time had now come for other people to help Chris out – with direct help and through friends of friends who could help rebuild Chris’s life. Kev and his mates decided to do what they could, including launching a Crowd Funding page to appeal for much needed funds for Chris.

Chris was forced to sleep on a friends sofa, and the friends gathered round and began to do jobs that needed doing and to call contacts to try to help Chris get back on his feet. One of those people was Grant Gundelfinger – the 2021 Heating Installer of the Year, based in Leeds. Grant managed to get a team of installers to come along to Chris’s home and install a new heating system for him – including sourcing components for the system from willing manufacturers.

One of those was Stelrad Radiators, based a few miles down the road in South Yorkshire, who as a sponsor of the Heating Installer Awards got to know Grant in 2021 when he won the national title. Grant called his contacts at Stelrad and asked if they would supply the seven radiators and the bathroom radiator needed to get heat back into the house in Morley. They also managed to get a new boiler donated to the cause. In less than a day the heating installers descended on the house and installed a new gas supply, the boiler, the radiators and all the pipework required to make it all work for Chris.

“I’m really grateful to everyone who has helped me so far to get back up and running and to Stelrad for letting me have the radiators to sort out getting some heat around the home,” says Chris. “I lost everything and my state of mind had not been great anyway but suddenly I was struggling in a place I’d never been before. These people and companies who have helped me get a grip on life again have made a huge difference and I can’t begin to thank them enough. It’s been amazing to hear of more help coming my way almost on a daily basis. It’s been remarkable….”

“We were devastated for Chris when we heard his story and quickly moved to provide the radiators that Grant asked us for to help get Chris’s heating system up and running again,” says Stelrad’s Marketing Communications Manager Sarah Baker. “We are delighted that we can help even in a small way to get Chris back up and functioning in his own home and pleased that we can be a small part of the heating industry support team that came together to help him.”

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