Katherine Hensen standing at the front of her Port Curtis home as CPS Energy installs free solar panels after she won a competition run by Propa! Future Solutions.
Katherine Hensen standing at the front of her Port Curtis home as CPS Energy installs free solar panels after she won a competition run by Propa! Future Solutions. Austin King

Future looks sunnier after family wins solar panel comp

IT TOOK two simple sentences to almost bring a grown man to tears.

Katherine Henson was caring for her 53-year-old father Cliff after Katherine's mother, Cliff's full-time carer, died from pancreatic cancer, when she penned the heart-wrenching competition entry.

Entrants had to state in two sentences to Ben Haffenden of Propa! Future Solutions why they deserved free installation of free solar panels.

It was easy for the 30-year-old to explain.

Katherine had to quit her job to care for her father after her mother's death and power bills were taking a big bite out of their budget.

Although Cliff had beaten cancer, he could not beat a degenerative brain disease brought on by chemotherapy. Unfortunately, they used all their money on a Port Curtis property and house so Cliff wouldn't have to be placed in a nursing home.

Ben was more than convinced. He said Katherine's entry almost brought a tear to his eye.

"The people that can't afford solar are the people that need it the most," Ben said.

Yesterday CPS Energy installed the solar panels for Propa! Future Solutions.

But these days, the solar power won't just light up Katherine and Cliff's lives. It will also help the two young boys Katherine has welcomed into her home as their foster carer.

"I always wanted to be a foster carer," she explained.

Cliff said he was so proud of his daughter, but he also had to give God the glory for their good fortune.

The house has been a labour of love for Katherine and her parents as they painted and tiled the house.

Now they are onto their next project - a ute that all four of them can fit into.

"I'll just save up," Katherine said. "We'll get there."



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