Cairn Housing Association celebrates ‘handyperson’ scheme that saved NHS £6m

Cairn Housing Association is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its “handyperson” scheme, which is estimated to have saved the NHS over £6 million.

Cairn Housing Association celebrates 'handyperson' scheme that saved NHS £6m

The housing association set up its handyperson service in 2009 on behalf of Highland Council to help private home-owners across the region by carrying out small repairs and adaptations.

It started out with just one part-time assistant but it was soon agreed that the service could help the NHS with discharge services by helping install items such as grab rails and toilet aids.

The service now has five members of staff to help elderly and disabled people with tasks around their homes to ensure Cairn’s clients can enjoy a valuable offering and feel safe and comfortable.

Over the past 10 years, the handyperson scheme has helped 6,367 customers and completed 15,165 jobs to allow people to live at home rather than face admission to hospital – saving the NHS an estimated £6,066,000.

Jason MacGilp, chief executive of Cairn Housing Group, said: “We’re extremely proud of our handyperson service and the incredible assistance it provides to people across Highland.

“We’re passionate about offering a great value service to customers within our communities and the handyperson team do this and more.

“I’d like to thank the team for their vital hard work and the commitment they show on a daily basis to make people’s lives better.”

The average value of a handyperson job is £42, which means that over the course of the last 10 years, the value of work carried out by the team is £636,930. Last year, 1,834 jobs were completed including step alterations and handrail fittings among many other household tasks.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the team hosted a bake sale which raised money for Cash for Kids.

Tony Orr, care and repair manager at Cairn Housing Association, said: “It’s so rewarding to know that our hard work makes such a difference to the day to day lives of so many people.

“Many things that a lot of people take for granted can prove to be a real struggle for some so it’s nice to help people maintain as much independence as possible.

“We were delighted to raise money from our bake sale and we have also agreed to volunteer some handyperson tasks to the very worthwhile charity, CHIP - a registered charity offering a first-stop shop to the families of children and young people with additional needs.”

Cairn Housing Association has a property portfolio of 3,200 houses across 24 local authority areas.

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