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A Safe Pair of Hands

Vulnerable adults who are unable to carry out minor works or repairs within their own home are now able to seek assistance from a Bedford Borough Council and Anchor Staying Put initiative named the ‘Handyperson Service’.

The scheme is open to older people, disabled people, those with learning disabilities and individuals with physical disabilities. It is focused on improving the quality of life of vulnerable adults, by providing advice and assistance with adaptations, improvements and minor repairs to their properties that will enable them to remain active, safe and independent in their homes.

In a joint statement, Cllr Nicky Attenborough, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, and Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Rather than struggle on alone and risk injury, people can seek comfort in knowing that a Handyperson Service representative is just a phone call away. It’s often the small jobs around the house that bother us for some reason, and knowing that support is on offer, to fix, mend, and offer advice to sort these things out, is a tremendous relief to many who have physical barriers in completing such tasks.”

Prithpal Chander, Manager of Anchor Staying Put Bedford, said: “I am delighted that we have been given this opportunity to deliver this much-needed service for the residents of Bedford. Over the 19 years we have provided our core service we have received numerous enquiries from residents to fix a tap washer or put up a curtain rail or shelf. I am pleased that I can finally say yes to them and organise an appointment. Our aim will be to deliver a high quality and friendly service so that the vulnerable can be kept warm, safe and secure in their own homes.”

A small charge of £16 per hour will be levied on each job that Anchor Staying Put undertakes through the Handyperson Service. Clients in receipt of an income related benefit will not be expected to pay the charge, but clients with the means to do so will be expected to make this contribution to the service plus the cost of any materials used.

All maintenance staff are accredited, security checked, and fully insured. Tasks may include, small building repairs, minor adaptations and odd jobs, including, general home safety checks security checks with remedial action (installing locks, chains, spy holes), small home energy efficiency measures (installing low energy light bulbs, replacing appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers), fire safety (installation of smoke alarms, electric blanket checks), and signposting clients to other services.

The service is available to owner occupiers and to those who rent from a private landlord council or housing association. However, the work that can be carried out in rented homes will be restricted, in that the handyperson will not do work that is the landlord’s responsibility.

People are able to self refer. Families are able to make a referral and referrals are also expected to be made via GP's, Social Workers and Hospitals.

For information on this scheme, or to book a handyperson, please visit the Anchor Staying Put website:  www.anchor.org.uk (go to ‘Find a Service’, and then click on ‘Home Maintenance and Improvements’), or alternatively, telephone 01234 852740.

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