HVP Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth speaks to Jonathon Hallam, founder of Warriors of Warmth, to find out how his latest charity initiative is going to be a force for good.
Despite the long hours and hard graft when it comes to the work itself, the UK plumbing and heating industry has been dedicated to charity work for a very long time. From self-employed plumbers to merchants and manufacturers, this is an industry which holds the values of community and generosity close to its heart.
It’s not surprising then that Jonathon Hallam, one of the minds behind the popular Heroes of Heat charity installation initiative, is back in the game with another project to help people in need across the UK get access to the warmth and hot water that so many others in the country take for granted.
“I’ve always done charity work, and I consider myself fortunate to have contacts in the heating industry, so I’d like to give something back,” said Jonathon.
Although Heroes of Heat found success, Jonathon hopes that the stronger focus on charity installation and independence will help form a strong core for Warriors of Warmth.
According to Jonathon, the Warriors will aim for four or five charity installations a year, taking applications from around the country which Jonathon researches himself to find those that can benefit the most from their help, as well as benefit the installers and apprentices he brings on board to help.
This is a key aspect of Warriors of Warmth, explains Jonathon, as it can be a brilliant tool to help apprentices learn and seek new opportunities in an industry that desperately needs new blood. He wants to provide places for these young tradespeople to learn, network, and develop as professionals.
He said: “I’ve got a group chat on Twitter and on Facebook purely there to offer apprentices support in confidence. Basically, I’m offering social media support without any slander or negativity.
“So, for example, somebody might post a pic of an install [on social media] and be ridiculed. But now what they’re doing is sending pics to me and I’m giving them feedback, positive and negative, but it’s not being scrutinised publicly.”
The most recent Warriors of Warmth installation took place on 20 April in Warwickshire, where Jonathon brought together installers to gift Nuneaton Sea Cadets with a new heating system.
He explained: “It’s a wooden building that’s suffered from damp because they’ve not been able to have sufficient heating over the years. And, because it’s a wooden building, in terms of hot water, they’ve struggled by with electric heaters.”
Thankfully, Jonathon and his team were able to use products from a variety of generous sponsors (see our boxout) to install a new efficient heating system and provide the Nuneaton Sea Cadets with the warmth and hot water they need.
The next installation is currently planned for July so, if you would like to donate or volunteer your time to help, Jonathon encourages you to get in touch via Twitter at @WarmthWarriors.
Sponsors for the Warriors of Warmth installations include: