New Services for Older Persons

Press Release: 11/01/2010

Last year the Older Persons Action Plan was published for the Winchester District and within this were 34 actions in order to ‘enable older people to have a choice of accommodation and support that suits their needs, promotes independence and is affordable’. Three actions within this action plan have resulted in three new services for the district aimed specifically at older people, they are a Gardening service, a Handypersons service and a Home from Hospital service.

The Gardening Service was launched in July 2009, this service assists Winchester District residents over the age of 60 to maintain their gardens. Hampshire County Council commissioned this service following consultation which identified garden maintenance support as a key factor that could assist people to stay in their own homes and maintain independence. This service also enables us to provide valuable work experience and horticulture training for local disabled and disadvantaged people.

If you are over 60 and receive a means-tested benefit, the service is available at a reduced rate. It is also available to those who do not receive a benefit, at the standard rate. It is a year-round gardening support service, with up to six visits per year, each visit lasting up to four hours. One-off visits can also be arranged.  Shaw Trust’s fully qualified and experienced team, who are supported by volunteers, provide a professional garden maintenance service.  Shaw Trust has over 20 years’ experience of delivering horticultural services and all staff and volunteers are checked by the Criminal Records Bureau.

Another new service is the Handypersons Service for Winchester District. This started operating in June 2009 and provides a low cost minor home repairs service for disabled people and people aged over 60 years. The service aims to help people with minor repairs and small jobs that tradesmen would not usally do; jobs that take less than a couple of hours and can be done safely by one person. These might include:

  • Plumbing - stopping leaks or replacing taps, washers and ball valves
  • Carpentry - replace doors, window sills, boxing in, put up shelves
  • Security - replacing or fitting locks, security chains and smoke detectors
  • Safety - fitting grab rails, light bulbs

There is a charge, usually £10.00 (plus VAT), although there is a further discount available for clients in receipt of a means tested benefit. 

The service is available to those living in private, council or social housing. The service is carried out by a company called In Touch which is part of the Hyde Housing Group.

To find out more about the Handypersons Scheme, telephone: 0845 459 5036.

The Re-ablement service is a partnership with Hampshire County Council (HCC) Adult Services and Winchester City Council and it aims to assist people who have two different needs. Those who are moving out of hospital and are not yet ready to go home and therefore need a period of time in a sheltered scheme to re gain their confidence before going home, this is also known as ‘step down’ because the care is being slowly reduced. The second type of need is for people who are in their home but need a period of time in a sheltered scheme, also known as ‘step up’ because they are stepping up the care required.

In both incidents, the care and support will be modelled around the needs of the individual and will follow them wherever they are and will only be reduced when required. This service began in April 2009 and has so far assisted 4 clients in the ‘step down’ process.  In fact it has been so successful and another 2 flats are going to be used for this purpose.

If you need more information about the Re-ablement service, please contact: Steve Tong from WCC, on 01962 848298.

More information on the gardening scheme