In a huge act of kindness, a Bury-based business has helped a married elderly couple and their parrot, who were left without heating for over two years.

MCR Gas, based off Dalton Street in Bury, had been called out after an elderly couple, living on the poverty line, had reportedly been taken advantage of by their provider.

Maggie and Dave O'Keefe, and their parrot, Cheeky Chops, have lived in Sale for the best of 60 years and are said to have been solely living in the bedroom for two years to keep each other warm.

%image('16136846', type="article-full", alt="Parrot Cheeky Chops with Dave O'Keefe")

In the last year, their bedroom also became home to Cheeky Chops the parrot since Dave found him shivering in the living room.

The heating problems began for the couple in 2012, when they signed up for a boiler cover and servicing plan at £6 a month.

Unfortunately, the boiler inside the property was not serviceable by the company they paid and in 2019, despite their boiler cover plan, they were told the company would not be completing the required works and condemned the boiler.

The couple said they were charged £90 for the call-out fee and with the years of care plan payments, the provider had taken £666 from the couple.


%image('16136855', type="article-full", alt="Gas engineer, Chris, working on the house")

Dave has multiple medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease and a partial amputation of the foot, meaning Maggie has become his full-time unpaid carer.

With a broken condemned boiler, Maggie and Dave spent the next two years trying everything to warm their house with the winter of 2021 forcing Dave to stay in bed all day.

He said, his health conditions, arthritis, history of heart attacks, false eye, and cardiovascular disease had been affected by the winter and the "freezing" house.

Dave said: “If they [the provider] had just asked what kind of boiler we had and told us they were unable to service this type, we would never have taken the boiler protection plan out."

Having spent hundreds with the provider and two years without heating, when MCR Gas heard about their situation the company rushed to help.

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A spokesperson said: “To us, this is unacceptable.

“A boiler manufacturer, Ideal Heating, had been asked by Citizen’s Advice if they could find a local heating service to do a full boiler install to get the household up and running again they came to us.

“Our longstanding relationship with Ideal and our passion for the local community meant accepting this job was a no-brainer.

“Our gas engineers Dan and Chris were accompanied by creative content Manager Rosella on Wednesday, November 2 to complete the installation.

“The job in itself was a standard decommission and install, after turning the water and gas off we removed the old boiler which had partly rusted away, Dan then got to work securing the boiler to the wall and cleaning up the pipe work.

%image('16136851', type="article-full", alt="An MCR Gas van ")

“Gas engineer Chris’ job was to repipe the gas access around the house and in through the wall.”

The company said they were met with such genuine gratefulness once the work was complete.

Maggie added: “It's absolutely wonderful, I can’t believe all that they've done in such a short space of time."

%image('16130648', type="article-full", alt="Parrot Cheeky Chops with Maggie and Dave O'keefe")

In a joint statement, an MCR Gas spokesperson said: "We first found out about Dave and Maggie's situation when Ideal contacted us to see if we could help out.

"Since we are Ideal-accredited for installers and worked alongside Ideal on various projects they asked us if we could supply materials and labour if they provided the boiler.

"After hearing that they had been without heating or hot water for over two-and-a-half years now we decided that a day's work from us was the least that we could give to help them.

"Once back up and running Dave and Maggie explained how much they appropriated our help it made it all worthwhile."

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