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UK wide funding scheme launches to help older and vulnerable stay gas safe in their homes

The Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) has significantly scaled up its partnership with the Gas Safe Charity following a successful pilot in 2013 to provide essential maintenance and repairs to the homes of older and vulnerable people. The scheme has now been extended and FILT will be working with the Gas Safe Charity, Care & Repair Scotland and Care & Repair Cymru to provide help across the UK.

FILT Chair, Baroness Kay Andrews, said: “this funding will provide much needed support to many vulnerable and older people across the UK. I am delighted that we are working with our partners across the nations to provide essential support to keep people safe and warm in their homes”.

The Gas Safe Charity funding has been awarded to coordinating charity FILT, as part of a two-year programme and will be used to address the replacement, repair and servicing of dangerous, faulty or insufficient gas appliances and installations that put the safety of older and vulnerable people at risk.

The Gas Safe Chair of Trustees, Gordon Lishman, explained: “Working in partnership across England, Scotland and Wales will help put in place preventive services that directly address the risks of death, injuries and illness caused by dangerous gas work and appliances. The scheme will also help to promote gas safety awareness across the UK.’

This funding represents a significant opportunity for home improvement agencies and care & repair organisations to expand and add real value to locally commissioned services. This scheme also provides significant opportunities in the longer term for the development of new partnerships and profile for the local organisations who delivery of the work.

Scott Malcolm from Angus Care and Repair, said, ‘This is a huge boost to our capability to help those in need. We are looking forward to working with our partners to identify those most in need and enable us to make people safe and warm in their homes’

The qualifying criteria for the scheme is

Home Owners Only
60+ with means tested benefit
60+ with state pension only
21+ who are disabled (no upper age limit)

And the works can cover the following

• Gas safety checks
• Gas Servicing
• Gas Boiler Repairs
• Gas Boiler Combustion Analysis
• Gas Cookers
• Gas Fires
• Gas Pipework
• Gas Meters (excluding meter boxes)
• Gas Water Heaters

For more information contact Angus Care and Repair on 01307 463232 or email at

Gas Safe Charity was established in 2009 by the Gas Safe Register and the Health & Safety Executive. It is an independent, grant-giving charity which supports a number of programmes to promote gas safety and reduce carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK.


Funding Cuts Affect Services

It is with regret that we had to announce yesterday that our Safe as Houses service is closing due to a reduction in funding from the Council.
In addition the funding for small repairs has also been withdrawn and we will now have to charge for small repairs at £20 per hour with no charge for travelling time .
We believe that small repairs are an essential part of helping older and disabled people to remain independent in their own home.
All of our other services:- Advice and assistance to carry out major repairs and adaptations, Home Safety check and Energy advice remain free services and we will also be continuing to install all the minor adaptations as referred by Angus Council Social Work.

Please feel free to call if you require assistance. 01307 463232.


Are you sockets overloaded ?

“The Electrical Safety Council has provided this interactive socket overload calculator.

They created the calculator following concerns raised by Fire & Rescue Services about the risks associated with householders overloading their electrical sockets.  They have tested the calculator with a number of FRS and the response from them has been fantastic.  Feedback included: “It looks good and will be really useful for sharing with people – we’ve found it an incredibly hard issue to explain to people in words alone. ”


Blind Cord Cleats Available – Courier 12/01/13

Thousands of life-saving pieces of equipment intended for Angus families are collecting dust in their boxes, it has emerged.

Forfar-based Angus Care and Repair was sent 3,000 blind cord cleats to avert potential tragedies in the county’s homes, and a scheme was set up to offer them for free with a fitting service.

However, manager Judith Leslie told The Courier: “We got 3,000 in September and probably fitted about 100 so far.”

Perhaps as important, the Scottish Government will sit down to discuss the Angus offer and judge whether its success merits a nationwide drive.

At least 23 children have died in blind cord accidents in the UK since 1999, with 11 occurring since the beginning of 2010.

“Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have been piloting a scheme to try and stop these type of deaths,” added Ms Leslie.

“Local authorities have done small pilots with these kinds of cleats, however they’ve not been fitted like we’re doing. The problem with that is people then just put them in a drawer or something.

“RoSPA said we’d be the first local authority to do it and provide a fitting service. They’re just sitting in the store, as not nearly as many people as we hoped have come forward.

“What RoSPA also asked me was if we could provide a report for the government then it would show them the benefits and they would spread it across the whole country.

Angus councillor and local authority social work and health convener, Glennis Middleton, said a simple phone call could save a life in Angus, one day.

She said: “I’m aware what a huge tragedy it is for the families concerned and I’m very happy to support this scheme.

“I would urge all families who have blinds fitted in their homes to contact Care and Repair as a matter of urgency.

“This is a real opportunity to have the safety measure fitted professionally and to a proper standard.

“It’s very quick; it’s very easy and can prevent a tragedy in their homes.

“I will be speaking to the head of housing if this can also be put in our tenant newsletter to let all our tenants know that this is available to them.”

RoSPA Scotland is fitting cleats in Angus homes in association with Angus Care and Repair, using money donated by businesses at a gala dinner in May.

In October, the two-year-old daughter of one of Britain’s wealthiest men died in her cot after becoming entangled with a cord.

Shipping tycoon Morten Hoegh’s daughter Alexandra was found unconscious by her mother in their west London home.

This recent case is only one of a number of high-profile tragedies that RoSPA argue can be easily prevented, but could happen to anyone.

Research indicates most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in a bedroom and occur in children aged between 16 months and three years old.

RoSPA has been working across the UK to raise awareness about the dangers of looped blind cords.

More than 130,000 safety packs containing an advice leaflet and a cleat – a small plastic device that is fitted to the side of the window for the operating cord to be wrapped around – have been distributed to families and carers of young children.

Ochil and South Perthshire MP Gordon Banks has been at the forefront of the campaign to ban the cords since the death in his constituency of two-year-old Muireann McLaughlin four years ago.

Ms Leslie added: “We need people to come forward, both to protect their own children but to potentially help other families around Scotland.”


Award for Angus Care and Repair

Angus Care and Repair rewarded for their partnership work

It has been a busy and successful year for Angus Care and Repair which culminated this week with the Company being given the Patrick Brooks Award for Partnership Working from Age Scotland.  Judith Leslie, Company Manager, received the award on behalf of Angus Care and Repair at the City Chambers in Edinburgh on 14 November and said ‘We are all delighted to receive this accolade.  All the staff are excellent at their jobs and really care about our client group and the services we provide.  We also have tremendous support from our Board of Directors who assist on a voluntary basis.  Whilst feedback from our clients is fantastic for us to realise and value the difference we make to their lives it is special to be recognised by our peers.’

Angus Care and Repair works in partnership with many different voluntary and statutory organisations in order to provide appropriate, professional and effective services to assist older and disabled people to remain independent.  It was due to these partnerships that Age Scotland made their decision.  They were particularly impressed with the Safe and Sound production and DVD that Care and Repair were heavily involved with which highlights adult protection, home safety and security issues.

Judith continued ‘At Angus Care and Repair we believe it is essential to provide services in the most efficient and cost effective way.  By working and co-ordinating with Tayside Police, Tayside Fire and Rescue, Angus Council, NHS Tayside and Voluntary organisations we are able not only to provide joined up services but also to reduce the number of people having to go in to someone’s home to identify or resolve issues.’

Angus Care and Repair provides assistance for people who are over 60 years of age or disabled in Angus with small repairs, minor adaptations, safety and security checks, major repairs or adaptations and energy conservation advice.  For a limited period they are also offering to fit blind cleats to anyone’s home in Angus who has young children and loose blind cords. For more information about all the services please call 01307 463232 or email or call in at Angus Care and Repair, Carseview Road, Forfar DD8 3BT.


Climate Challange Funding – July 2012

Angus Care and Repair have been awarded funding to start up a new service to help elderly and disabled people throughout Angus reduce their carbon emissions and help with tackling Climate Change whilst also saving money on their energy use.

Staff will be trained to carry out Home Energy Advice visits and to carry out talks to groups that would like to get involved in Low Carbon Initiatives.

Officers will work closely with the Energy Savings Trust who facilitate the governments Energy Assistance Package for advice, draught proofing, insulation, and heating.

Clients will also be able to request assistance with clearing attic spaces for insulation to be laid and to assist with other tasks like changing to thermal curtains in winter.

Manager Judith Leslie said “this is great news, Angus residents have been missing out on these services which are already available in all our neighbouring counties, so it’s good to know we can look forward to providing our clients with what is a much needed project.

The number of elderly people in fuel poverty in Angus is increasing and advice and assistance of this nature can help reduce these figures whilst also having a positive effect on Climate Change.”

Angus Council Leader Iain Gaul said: “I am delighted that Angus Care and Repair have been awarded this funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Fund. Angus Council supports Angus Care and Repair to provide advice and assistance to older and disabled people to help them to repair, improve or adapt their homes to enable them to remain at home in comfort. This additional funding will enable Care and Repair to provide a further service to these residents giving them advice on how to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions – helping reduce our carbon footprint while saving householders money. The award of this funding is a reflection of the high regard that Angus Care and Repair is held both locally and nationally, and the fantastic work that they do.”

The official launch of the project will be announced later in the summer.