When their old boiler went bang and they were refused finance on a new model, the Bennett family from Bradley Stoke in Bristol was resigned to spending Christmas without heating or hot water.

On benefits and with children with autism and Asperger syndrome, the Bennetts could not afford a new boiler and were facing a freezing festive period and beyond.

That was when heating systems manufacturer Viessmann and installers STL Heating & Energy, with some help from the Linked In business social networking website, came to the rescue. The result was the installation of a brand new Viessmann Vitodens 100-W boiler just two days before Christmas.

“A plea went out on Linked In from the company that had been unable to finance a new boiler for the family,” explained Viessmann managing director, Graham Russell.

“In the run-up to Christmas, when it was minus several degrees outside, we were concerned about the exceptional circumstances facing the Bennetts and decided we should help with this one-off donation.”

Martyn Stratford, partner to mum of three, Melaney Bennett, expressed how grateful the family were and thanked the companies involved. “We were pretty elated to hear that we were getting any kind of help and to find out the boiler was to be given to us for free was a real bonus,” he said.