A Wigan electrician has been praised for his heartwarming gesture of paying for an elderly couple’s new heaters after realising they couldn’t afford it.
The unnamed couple in their eighties faced Christmas in the cold after their heating broke. But that all changed when Karl Mather was drafted in to help.
I couldn’t leave them in the cold. You can’t leave old people with no heating.Karl Mather
KDM Electrical owner Karl had been contacted by Age Concern to fix the pensioners’ heating system, but arrived to find a 30-year-old storage heater beyond repair.
Karl, who lives in Goose Green, said: “It was completely gone. It was all discoloured and they said it wasn’t working right.”
Realising the system would need replacing entirely, Karl enquired about a grant for the elderly residents, only to find they could be in for a long wait.
“They could have been looking at two to three months,” he said.
“I couldn’t leave them in the cold. You can’t leave old people with no heating.”
So Karl, 36, went out of his way, twice, to make sure they would be comfortable over winter.
He first purchased a portable heater for them to use until Age Concern’s grant came through. When that fell through, he ordered a brand new storage heater at a cost of £250.
He returned to the couple’s house to fit it a few days later, but was faced with one big stumbling block.
Karl said: “It was obvious through talking to them that they had no money and the husband also suffered from dementia.
“The wife was getting upset and they were talking about missing some bills to pay for it. So I just decided to write it off as an early Christmas present to myself, and told the couple that Age Concern had received a grant to pay for the heater and my time.”
Karl thought nothing more of it until this week, when the NICEIC, a regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry, heard about his generosity.
The mysterious tip-off, believed to be from another of Karl’s clients, prompted the NICEIC to pay Karl for all the costs of the goods he gave to the couple.
CEO Emma Clancy said: “This was an amazing gesture by Karl and a really heartwarming story to hear. We just wanted to reward him for such a generous deed.”
And the humble sparky remained modest about his act after being told he would be reimbursed for his efforts.
Karl said: “They were a lovely couple and I was happy enough with all the tea and cake they gave me. I don’t think anyone could have just walked away from that job. I never expected anything in return. This is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done.”
It is believed the couple are still unaware of Karl’s good deed.