Handy Helpers will tackle loneliness and isolation thanks to Bucks councils' cash

File photo
File photo

A new free service is tackling loneliness in the elderly head on, thanks to cash from district councils in Bucks.

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.

The scheme will help vulnerable and isolated Bucks residents who are 65+ and infirm or living with a disability.

Helpers will alleviate stress by getting stuck in to household chores and repairs, and help to minimise hazards around the home.

The scheme also helps service users to make social connections, and the DBS checked staff and volunteers befriend the person they are working with.

Samantha Hardy, project manager for Community Impact Bucks, said: “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.

“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)