Manchester Care & Repair Scoops Prestigious National Award

Frank Evans, Suzanne Jones and Janette Linacre from Care & Repair alongside Lord Best at the ceremony

Manchester Care & Repair has won the Home Improvement Agency Service of the Year Award at the national Home Improvement Agency (HIA) and Handyperson Awards hosted at the House of Lords.

The annual awards, which are organised by Foundations – the national body for Home Improvement Agencies -recognise excellence across a range of housing support services.

Manchester Care & Repair impressed the judges through its wide range of innovative services that supported over 12,000 older or vulnerable Manchester residents last year. Individual services singled out for special commendation for their achievements in 2014-15 were:

  • Citywide handyperson and falls prevention service which carried out over 8,500 jobs
  • North Manchester General Hospital Assisted Discharge Service, which operated 7 days a week and supported over 1450 patients
  • Home visiting caseworker service which supported residents to make successful welfare benefit claims which boosted their annual incomes by £1,354,152 (£1.35 million)
  • Management of Manchester City Council’s innovative revolving loan funds which enable residents to finance home repairs and improvements through interest free loans which become available for new borrowers as they are repaid.

Janette Linacre, Executive Director of Manchester Care & Repair, said “On behalf of my team, I am extremely proud that our work has been recognised by this award. Our services can be an absolute lifeline to older and vulnerable residents and our practical interventions can also help health and care budgets by promoting independence, choice and wellbeing and preventing or delaying more expensive calls on acute services and residential care. We have faced a difficult year with significant cuts in local authority funding. Fortunately we have an extremely dedicated staff team who continued to deliver an excellent service to clients even when their own jobs were at risk and ultimately we have received support from the three Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups which has enabled our services to continue”.

The Home Improvement Agency (HIA) and Handyperson Awards celebrate the achievements of the HIA sector. There are nearly 200 handyperson schemes and home improvement agencies in England. Some are run by councils and housing associations. Others, like Manchester Care and Repair are independent charities.

The HIA and Handyperson Awards ceremony took place on 15 June at the House of Lords and was hosted by Lord Best. It was attended by senior representatives from the housing and health sectors including housing minister Brandon Lewis, Care & Repair England CEO Sue Adams and Carl Petrokofsky from Public Health England.

Social housing leader and awards ceremony host Lord Best said: “We received a record number of entries this year – testament to the sheer volume of top quality, creative services being delivered by the HIA sector. These awards are an opportunity to reward the vital contribution that home improvements make to the independence, health, wellbeing and dignity of vulnerable people and their carers”.

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