Handy Helpers

Our Handy Helpers project is a service to help elderly, vulnerable and isolated local residents with small tasks around the home which they can’t or daren’t do for themselves. It provides a trustworthy service which offers visits and help from DBS checked volunteers to help out and offer befriending and social support.

As people are living longer, there is more pressure on social services to provide residential care once they can no longer care for themselves at home. The inability to undertake basic tasks around the house to prevent the deterioration of their property has meant that many older or disabled people have lost their independence and may have to be cared for in a residential setting.

Handy Helpers aims to help people stay in their own homes, independently, for as long as possible.

Handy Helpers will ensure that risks and hazards around the home are minimised, to help avoid the risk of falls and hospital admissions. It will also provide an additional layer of support to ensure elderly residents stay safe after a fall or hospital stay.

The work undertaken by the volunteer team includes small repairs, maintenance tasks, the implementation of safety/security measures and energy efficiency checks.

Handy Helpers runs in Aylesbury Vale and South Bucks and complements the Gardening and Befriending service also provided by CIB.

Types of jobs we do

This list is not exhaustive, but serves to illustrate some of repairs and tasks that we can undertake:

• Testing smoke detectors and replacing batteries
• Setting up electrical equipment and re-setting of clocks
• Setting thermostats or timers
• Replacing doorbell batteries and light bulbs
• Fixing down hazardous carpets, rugs, trailing electrical leads etc.
• Fitting grab rails, towel rails, coat hooks and shelves etc. to walls
• Assembling flat-packed furniture
• Putting up curtains, tracks, blinds (but not curved corded types)
• Fitting shower rails and curtains
• Tightening doorknobs, locks, adjusting hinges and changing basic door locks
• Fitting door chains, spy holes, locks and security bolts to timber doors
• Power washing pathways and leaf clearance
• Removal of small household items and green waste
• Moving light furniture between rooms
• Putting up/taking down Christmas decorations
• Draft proofing doors and windows
• Turning mattress

We are not able to undertake electrical or plumbing works; instead CIB will signpost clients to Trading Standards who hold a list of approved, qualified tradespeople.

Become a client

How it works

Clients can be referred to the project or contact the project to request help by contacting Samantha Hardy on 01844 348831 or samantha@communityimpactbucks.org.uk. An assessment of each client will then be conducted to identify their eligibility for the service and their likely needs. Each task requirement will then be assessed so they can be matched to either a One2One Handy Helper or the Handy Helper Team Leader. Once the task has been completed, clients will be asked to complete a feedback form.

Eligibility

Tasks will be completed free of charge for eligible clients who are 60+ or disabled and in receipt of a means tested benefit. However, they may donate to the project if they wish. Clients will be required to supply or pay for their own materials (e.g. fixtures, fittings and furnishings). Clients who are not eligible for a free service may be able to apply for the low-cost service. We will not be able to offer a same-day service, but urgent works will be given priority.

Volunteers

The Handy Helpers Project is all about local community participation and volunteering. We seek to galvanise local residents as volunteers to help support the more vulnerable in their community and foster good community relationships which hopefully will spill into becoming trusted relationships and friendships.

The project will build relationships between volunteers and clients so that while a lightbulb is being changed a cup of tea and a chat can also be shared. This provides an often much-needed interaction for an older person and the volunteer alike. Similarly, by helping an older person a volunteer not only offers the solution to a practical task but the opportunity to get out and have a change of scenery themselves.

We provide a flexible and supportive experience where volunteers can fit their volunteering around other commitments on a regular or ad hoc basis, which can be in the daytime or the evening and during the week or at the weekend. Being a Handy Helper offers a meaningful and rewarding opportunity to meet new people and make a difference to their life.

Volunteers can choose to volunteer independently as One2One Handy Helper or be part of the Handy Helper Group.

One2One Handy Helpers:

Our volunteers let us know their availability and we match them with a client depending on
their preferred locations and the type of task required.

Handy Helper Group:

Services are volunteer-delivered under the guidance of a paid team leader. Team working is
at the centre of our Handy Helper Group, our volunteers are guided by a paid Handy Helper
Team Leader. There is a great sense of camaraderie where they can draw on each other’s
knowledge and experience.

Benefits of Volunteering

Being a Volunteer Handy Helpers is a very rewarding experience. Your donation of time, no matter how small is greatly valued and appreciated as it makes a significant difference to the life of a vulnerable person. Our Volunteers say they get an enormous sense of achievement in doing something useful that wouldn’t get done without their help. In addition, they get the opportunity to use their talents and explore their capabilities.

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