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Offering the community a little HELP

Man in face mask removing ladder from back of white van

We’re revisiting some of the beneficiaries of our community fund to find out how it has helped them.

Today, it’s the turn of the Harrogate Easier Living Project.

Harrogate & District Community Action connects people and promotes and supports community action to make the Harrogate district a great place in which to live and work. They manage HELP services, who support support older or vulnerable people to live independently across the Harrogate District.

We caught up with Anna Woollven, project development worker on the HELP team, to learn more.

How has the community fund supported the HELP service?

The £500 covered the costs of delivering our ‘Here to HELP’ services supporting people in the Harrogate district to live safe and well at home. The grant was to cover costs, such as PPE, cleaning materials for volunteers, safety handbooks for our staff and a pot to cover emergency shopping trips where the client is unable to repay us.

What was involved?

During this period, our two Help at Home vans have done extra mileage as the team has been exceptionally busy helping local residents with gardening and odd jobs that have accumulated over the pandemic. We used the £500 grant to cover our van fuel bills. These are costs for which we do not receive any statutory funding.

We were fortunate to receive a donation of PPE and a grant from the Asda Community Foundation to cover the cost of cleaning materials. North Yorkshire County Council also provided a slush fund to cover any emergency shopping we undertook for clients who were not in position to pay us.

What has been the impact?

Over the six month period, our Help at Home team has supported local residents with nearly 1,100 hours of practical support on 176 jobs. The support has been given to some of the most vulnerable people in our district who struggle with jobs in the home, either through ill health, a lack of local support or being unable to pay private tradespeople to do the work for them.

Work has included:

Tip runs – taking garden waste, packaging and rubbish to the tip thereby removing trip hazards in the home

Gardening – clearing overgrown gardens to make them safe and accessible for their owners

Odd jobs – these have included moving furniture to enable hospital discharge, installing key safes to allow carers access, fixing leaky taps, changing lightbulbs, putting up shelves and curtains etc.

Doing doorstep visits to check on any clients we are concerned about

The combined effect of these small, but vital jobs has been to help residents across the Harrogate district remain living safe, well and independently at home.

Community funding

At Stonebridge Homes, we will continue to work with local charities through donations, sponsorship and time given by employees. It’s important to us to give something back to the communities in which we build.

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