A Happy Handy Christmas!

Christmas is coming early for older and vulnerable Liverpool residents this year, as the city’s Handy Persons scheme offers the gift of carrying out free work to mark the festive period.

DIY professionals from Housing Maintenance Solutions (HMS), Riverside and Blackburne House will complete a free job every day, between 12th and 24th December, as part of the 12 Deeds of Christmas offer.

The Handy Persons scheme is run by Liverpool Council, which awarded HMS and Riverside a grant of £250,000 in the summer to deliver the pilot in north and south Liverpool respectively. Blackburne House Maintenance Ltd, a female-staffed maintenance business, have also recently been brought on-board to provide residents with access to women DIY experts.

The 12 Deeds of Christmas offer – which will see 12 jobs selected from random from all the bookings received – is open to people aged over 65 and those with a disability.

Tasks such as fitting locks, spyholes and door chains, replacing light bulbs, electric fuses and plugs, and installing grab rails will be carried out.

Fitting doorbells and smoke alarms, assembling flat pack furniture, unblocking sinks and one-off garden clean-ups will also be offered free of charge.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “The Handy Persons scheme is designed to keep people safe in their homes and living independently for longer – and our Christmas initiative is extending the reach of our helping hand.

“Residents may need some work carrying out around their homes but are putting it off because they have to cover the cost of Christmas.

“Our offer means residents who book a job in this period will be in with a chance of having the work carried out free of charge, so they can be safe, secure and comfortable in their homes over the festive period.”

Managing Director at HMS, Paul Worthington, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time for many residents with the added cost of buying presents and socialising so we’re offering the Handyperson scheme free of charge as a gesture of goodwill.

“We will be selecting 12 jobs at random and carry one out each day up until 24 December.

“The offer is available to all residents, not just social housing tenants.”

Residents should request a job on 0151 295 6102 by 6th December to be in with a chance of getting the work carried out for free.

The Handy Persons scheme aims to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable people, allow them to stay living in their homes for longer, and cut hospital admissions caused by DIY accidents.

Funding comes from the Department of Communities and Local Government Housing Strategy for Older People.

How to Enter

Simply call 0151 295 6102 with your name, address and contact number and details of the handyperson job you would like  help with.

Please submit your request by 6th December 2013 and 12 jobs will be selected at random to be completed during December 2013.

About the Handy Persons scheme

• The Liverpool Handy Person’s Scheme is available to people aged 65+ and those with a disability. It aims to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable people, helping them maintain their independence in their own home and cutting hospital admissions.

• The funding for the scheme comes from a £250,000 grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government Housing Strategy for Older People.

• Residents can call 0151 295 6102 for a chat about their needs and to book an appointment. They will receive a visit from a handy person within 7-10 days.

• The service is offered at a subsidised rate of £15 per hour (plus the cost of materials).

• Most jobs are not likely to take more than two hours.

• The scheme is not means tested and is offered to all residents (if 65 and over and /or disabled) in the City regardless of tenure (owner occupiers, social housing tenants or private sector tenants).

• An apprenticeship scheme will form part of the Handypersons service, with Liverpool Community College providing a pool of apprentices – including plumbers, electricians and joiners – to support HMS and Riverside and develop their own skills.

• Liverpool Community Colleges apprentices who will benefit from the scheme will range in age from 18, to people in their 50s.