West councils win independent living service award
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Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire local authorities set up West of England Care and Repair in 2012 to help local home owners and private tenants to maintain and improve their homes.
The service, which has charitable status, offers a wide range of practical help and advice to homeowners over 60 and disabled and vulnerable people of any age, on a not-for-profit basis.
Judges at the Home Improvement Agency Awards 2013 voted the four councils winners of the ‘Excellence in commissioning HIA services’ category in recognition of their partnership approach and the comprehensive service provided.
Welcoming the news, Vice-Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Ian Boulton said: “Well done to the four local authority teams who have worked together to develop an exemplary service for our older, disabled and vulnerable residents.
“With an ageing population and ever-increasing demands on our health and social services Home Improvement Agencies such as West of England Care and Repair provide an invaluable service, helping residents to stay safe, secure and independent in their own homes.”
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member responsible for housing, said: "In North Somerset we have worked hard with our neighbouring authorities to enable our residents to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This award is another example of how well the West of England Partnership works together on matters of common importance."
Award judges also highlighted the inclusion of two Independent Living Centres within the West of England service. The two centres, based in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, provide opportunities for disabled people to try out products and equipment that can help them live independently at home.
Further information on West of England Care and Repair is available from www.wecr.org.uk or by telephoning 0300 323 0700.
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