County Durham handyperson service receives national recognition

A specialist service designed to support the wellbeing of older and vulnerable people across County Durham has been recognised nationally at a prestigious ceremony in the House of Lords.

The County Durham Handyperson Service, operated by Four Housing, which is now part of the Bernicia Group, has received a commendation at this year’s Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards. Organised by Foundations – the national body for HIAs – the annual awards recognise the efforts of England’s 200 agencies to offer a wide range of home support to disabled and older vulnerable people on low incomes.

The handyperson service, which provides a vital lifeline to individuals who are over 60, disabled, at high risk of falling or who are vulnerable in other ways, has received over 64,686 referrals and has carried out a staggering 96,871 pieces of work for clients county-wide since it was set up in 2009.

Through its team of skilled tradespeople it provides practical help and advice to help people to live independently, safely and comfortably in their own homes through small handyperson tasks and minor repairs, minor adaptations, telecare equipment installation and home safety checks.

Philippa Hughes, from Four Housing, said: “To receive recognition for the work of the County Durham Handyperson Service by Foundations at a prestigious ceremony in Westminster was a real honour.

“We are very proud of what’s been achieved by the County Durham Handyperson Service which is providing a vital service, not only to hospital discharge patients to help them adjust to being back in their homes, but for older people and vulnerable individuals who need some extra assistance with tasks around the home. As a housing provider we are committed to supporting the wider communities in which we operate and to helping people live independently in their homes for longer; this service is playing a vital role in helping us achieve these aims.”

The County Durham Handyperson service is a jointly commissioned service funded by Durham County Council, North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group and Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for Adult and Health Services, said: “We are delighted that the County Durham Handyperson service has achieved national recognition for the excellent work it undertakes for the most vulnerable of County Durham residents. The service employs trusted and experienced handypersons who undertake thousands of practical tasks every year which help older and disabled adults and children to live safely and independently in their own homes.”