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Resident film directors record home improvements

Two budding film-makers are getting behind the camera to film improvements being made to their home.

Merlin Housing Society has started work on a five-year, £20m project to improve 1,000 homes in South Gloucestershire. The work involves installing new insulation and other improvements to most of the landlord’s non-traditional properties to make them warmer and cheaper to heat.

Kirsty Hunter and Rebecca Innes both volunteered to record a video diary of the improvements to their Cadbury Heath homes. The finished film is published on Merlin’s website and is being given out to residents before work is carried out to their homes.

“It was a good opportunity – I’ve never done anything like this before,” said Kirsty whose home was the first to be improved. “I’m quite camera-shy, so it took me a while to come round to the idea, but I’m really glad I did it. It’s been a really good experience – I’ve even been interviewing the builders!

“Since the windows have gone in we can notice there aren’t draughts coming in any more. Our home also feels a lot warmer and nicer and the new windows have improved every single room.”

Rebecca added: “I was really pleased when I was asked to do it, because it’s nice to be involved in such a massive project. The improvements will almost be like getting a new house!”

Project manager Richard Hopkins said: “We’re delighted Kirsty and Rebecca volunteered to share their experiences with other residents. The finished film will give other residents whose homes we improve a better idea of what the work involves.

“Our non-traditional homes were built in the 1940s and 1950s as a quick solution to the housing shortage at the time. But the condition of many of them is now deteriorating and they are suffering from problems with cold and damp. These improvements will make them warmer, cheaper to heat and more weather-proof and thanks to Kirsty and Rebecca our other residents will be able to see exactly what it all involves before we start work on their home.”

The first phase of the project in Cadbury Heath, is due to be completed in September. Merlin will then roll out the rest of the programme, which includes properties in Filton, Kingswood, Patchway, Thornbury, Yate, and Chipping Sodbury.

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