Government Praise for Greenwich Council's Service

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A fix-it scheme that offers a willing pair of hands for odd jobs around the house has received government praise.

Michael Robbins and Rob Moore with 96-year-old Christana Paige

Our handyperson Mike is absolutely wonderful and a familiar face so he can get on with the job if I can't be there with my mum.

A fix-it scheme that offers a willing pair of hands for odd jobs around the house has received government praise.

Greenwich Council's Handy Person service provides tradesmen to carry out handy and essential jobs for elderly and vulnerable people. The free service has been running for three years and is available to over 60s, sick and disabled people whether they are homeowners, council or private tenants.

Now the government is so impressed with the scheme that it is ploughing £40million into developing similar schemes around the country.

Greenwich Council's scheme employs two handy people who carry out about six to seven jobs each day. They include minor household repairs from fixing leaky taps, doorbells and unblocking sinks to odd jobs like changing light-bulbs, putting up curtains or turning mattresses. The odd jobbers also carry out fire safety checks and fit smoke alarms as well as preparing properties by rearranging furniture and fitting handrails for people coming out of hospital.

Teacher Fardos Khan's mother has been using the handyperson scheme since her sister-in-law told her about it a few months ago. The 72-year-old who lives in Plumstead had a light fixed and a new loo seat fitted. Fardos, 42, said:

"Reliability and trust are two key factors of the scheme with the added bonus that it's free. The problem is no one will come out for small jobs and if they do, they make a mess, charge ridiculous money or do part of the job and never come back.

"Our handyperson Mike is absolutely wonderful and a familiar face so he can get on with the job if I can't be there with my mum."

The handyperson scheme is run by Greenwich Council's Home Improvement Team and available on freephone 0800 783 1612.

Councillor Maureen O' Mara, Greenwich Council's Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said:

"The original scheme was set up with five other boroughs and has expanded over the years helping scores of local residents. We are pleased the government has recognised its success by investing money into developing similar schemes and we will be looking to expand our service even further."

For more information on Council services, please visit http://www.greenwich.gov.uk .

For media information please contact David Harrison on 020 8921 5214.

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