Free household maintenance and befriending scheme launched across Buck

Handy Helper project to give support to vulnerable and isolated in their homes.

Community Impact Bucks has launched its free Handy Helper project which helps people with odd jobs, small repairs and maintenance tasks that they are unable to do for themselves in their homes. It also provides some social interaction to help tackle loneliness.

Helping vulnerable and isolated Bucks residents who are 65+ and infirm or living with a disability, the project enables people to live safely and securely in their own homes for longer by:

  • Alleviating the stress caused by being unable to deal with household tasks/repairs
  • Minimising risks and hazards in and around the home
  • Providing the opportunity to make social connections.

The free service offers visits and help from DBS-checked Community Impact Bucks staff members and volunteers. The types of jobs undertaken include:

  • Home safety and falls prevention measures
  • Odd jobs e.g. replacing light bulbs, resetting clocks/thermostats, repairing door handles
  • External maintenance e.g. garden clearance, leaf collecting, painting fences/sheds
  • Removal and disposal of small household items and green/general waste
  • Home security measures e.g. locks, wireless alarms, key safes
  • Small DIY jobs tasks e.g. flat packed furniture, putting up shelves
  • Moving furniture
  • Putting up/taking down Christmas decorations

“This project is unique – it combines two things which our more vulnerable residents really need; help with odd jobs around their homes and a visit from a friendly face who can give that much-needed social interaction,” said Samantha Hardy, Community Impact Bucks’ project manager. “Handy Helpers is all about local community participation and we’d love to hear from anyone who is able to give some spare time to help in our clients’ homes.”

The 12-month project is funded by Aylesbury Vale District Council, Wycombe District Council and Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils and follows two pilot schemes which ran in Aylesbury/ Aylesbury Vale and Gerrards Cross in 2017 and 2018.

A spokesperson on behalf of the District Councils commented: “The District Councils have long recognised that house conditions can have a major impact on health and wellbeing.  Each Council is therefore keen to support services which aim to reduce accidents at home, improve health and wellbeing and enable older people stay independent and in their homes for longer.”

If you anyone would like to volunteer for the Handy Helpers scheme or if you need help with repairs or jobs around the home, contact Samantha Hardy at Community Impact Bucks (T: 0300 11 1250/ E: handyhelpers@communityimpactbucks.org.uk)

ENDS

For media enquiries, to arrange an interview, or for case studies of previous clients or Handy Helper volunteers, please contact Rachel Fisher/ Samantha Hardy

E: rachel@communityimpactbucks.org.uk / samantha@communityimpactbucks.org.uk

T: 0300 111 1250

 Notes for editors:

  • Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow.
  • Community Impact Bucks’ directly delivered services focus on supporting those most in need – the elderly, vulnerable and socially isolated. We also work in the heart of the community to develop volunteer driven solutions and are the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire.
  • Overview of Handy Helper scheme – https://communityimpactbucks.org.uk/projects/handy-helpers/
  • Case study of Handy Helper volunteer – https://communityimpactbucks.org.uk/case-studies/handy-helpers-2/
  • Case study of Handy Helper client – https://communityimpactbucks.org.uk/case-studies/handy-helpers/
  • Through the Handy Helpers pilots which ran in 2017 and 2018, Community Impact Bucks completed 553 tasks for 119 beneficiaries. This involved 28 volunteers who gave 1633 volunteering hours.
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