SOUTH LAKELAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
21 January 2022
HANDY PERSON SCHEME HELPS PEOPLE MAINTAIN INDEPENDENT LIVING
Residents in need of practical help around their homes are being reminded that a free council-run service could provide support.
South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) Handy Person Scheme offers assistance with simple but essential jobs around the home to help people maintain independent living and quality of life.
The service provides help with anything from changing a lightbulb to putting up shelving, installing hand rails and small repairs such as unblocking sinks, as well as fitting curtain rails and moving heavy items.
The scheme, run in partnership with Barrow-based repairs and service company Growing Concerns, also enables the fitting of minor security measures including; a key safe, door viewer and chain.
The work is free of charge except for the cost of materials, unless they have been supplied as part of a scheme with a partner agency.
Councillor Suzie Pye, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and poverty alleviation, said: “We have been running the Handy Person Scheme successfully for a number of years in partnership with Growing Concerns and have received great feedback about the service they provide. It’s a fantastic scheme and vital to those who don’t have family or friends nearby to help with those odd jobs round the house you can't do yourself.
"Helping people in our communities to be independent is a priority for South Lakeland District Council and this service is a fantastic way to help achieve that. I would urge anybody who thinks they, or somebody they know, would benefit from this scheme to get in touch."
Assistance under the Handy Person Scheme is available to people who are unable to undertake the task themselves and have no other person available to help them with the task and reside in the South Lakeland area, who:
• are aged 65 and over; or
• have a disability or are vulnerable; or
• are being discharged or have recently been discharged from hospital; or
• are at high risk of falling due to a medical condition; or
• potential victims of crime, who are referred by the police.
Works are limited to a maximum of three hours on site if one handy person visits, or 1.5 hours if two handy people visit. Gardening and decorating are not included. Eligible households can use the service up to six times a year.
The scheme is supported by Cumbria Constabulary and Age UK, and the fitting of minor security measures is also included in the scheme.
David Shields, who runs Growing Concerns with his wife, Marie, said: “We are proud to have worked with South Lakeland District Council for the past 17 years. The range of work we can carry out is wide and makes such a difference to our clients.
"To see how grateful they are for what the scheme can provide is better than anything."
Further details of the scheme, including qualifying criteria and time/usage constraints, are available on the council’s website at www.southlakeland.gov.uk, via telephone on 01539 733 333 or via email on email@example.com. Referrals should also be made via that telephone number or email address. Referrals can be made on behalf of someone else with their permission.
Work available through the scheme includes:
• Fitting of minor security measures such as spy-holes, door and window locks and security lighting;
• Fitting key safes, door bells or telephone extension leads;
• Changing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes;
• Fitting plugs/fuses or fixing down/making safe trailing or loose wires;
• Putting up curtain rails, curtains or blinds;
• Installing internal and external grab rails;
• Erecting shelves or affixing coat hooks;
• Fixing down or trimming loose or hazardous carpets;
• Moving furniture within the home;
• Replacing toilet seats or sealant around sinks/baths;
• Unblocking sinks and repairing minor leaks;
• Replacing tap washers, cistern washers and ball valves or draining/bleeding radiators;
• Initial help following hospital discharge (for example, resetting heating controls);
• Minor repairs to gates, fences and paths to prevent tripping hazards or to help secure the property.
For more information, please contact the SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.