Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Lotto grant saves Keighley handyman service
Keighley’s well-established handyman service for pensioners will be revived thanks to a £176,864 lottery grant.
The three-year funding package will enable Keighley Volunteer Centre to carry out a range of household jobs.
Volunteers will carry out tasks from changing lightbulbs to gardening, fitting handrails and installing window locks.
The aim of the new Helping Hands service is to carry out tasks that will enable older people to remain living in their homes as long as possible.
For 16 years the Volunteer Centre, based in North Street, ran the Grassroots gardening service for older and disabled people.
It developed into a full home maintenance service, but funding ran out last year and the project closed.
Gary Pedley said the lottery grant came just as his team had run out of potential funding sources and thought the service was gone forever.
He said: “It built up such a reputation Keighley and it was such a shame to lose it.
“We knew it was such an essential service and so many older people rang up needing work doing.”
Mr Pedley said one useful service would be moving furniture around, such as moving a bed into the living room if someone could no longer climb stairs.
He said: “It’s all about enabling older people to stay in their own homes and extend the period of independence.
“It’s all about safeguarding the individual – anything that would make an older person more comfortable in their home and not go into a nursing home.”
The Volunteer Centre plans to recruit 25 volunteers each year, particularly the long-term unemployed, providing them with training and experience to help them find jobs.
Work will be carried out free, but householders will have to pay for any materials.
The Volunteer Centre will begin taking referrals for work in the New Year, and the service will begin within a few weeks. The centre can be contacted from January 8 on (01535) 609506.
The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme aims to support those most in need and build strong communities.