MORE pensioners are able to stay in their own homes thanks to a scheme aimed at helping them lead independent lives.
Kirklees Council has renewed its contract with Slaithwaite-based Anchor Staying Put, who make vital repairs and adaptations to people’s homes.
They add handrails, make homes wheelchair friendly and carry out repairs which allow elderly people to continue living on their own.
The contract with the Staying Put team is worth more than £148,000 over the next three years.
It will allow them to double the number of staff they employ and help more elderly people.
Hubert and Mollie Kinder are one Huddersfield couple to benefit from the scheme.
Mrs Kinder, 80, had difficulty getting about her Newsome home due to her arthritis.
It was only when their gas boiler broke down that the couple contacted Age Concern who recommended they got in touch with the team.
Mr Kinder, 82, said: “We couldn’t afford to have the boiler replaced on the income from our pensions alone.
“We knew it would be expensive and we were desperate.
“So we approached the Anchor Staying Put team and they advised us to apply to the council for a home improvement grant.
“When the grant was approved, Staying Put arranged for the work to be done, even finding the contractors and sorting out the quotes for the job.
“It was wonderful to have all the hassle handled by someone you could trust and we had the peace of mind of knowing that the workmen who were sent to do the job weren’t cowboys but reliable people with a lot of experience.
“Since then they have also arranged for handrails to be put outside and in the hall, which are a great help to Mollie.”
The agency has been working in Kirklees for two decades. Their new contract will keep them in the borough for another three years.
Victoria Mager, manager of the Kirklees team, said: “Our new contract with Kirklees Council is fantastic news for us as it means that we will have greater capacity to offer home improvement services to even more people.
“We take all the hassle out of arranging for the work to be done, we give advice, help customers to fill in the necessary forms, approach the contractors and ensure that the work is done to a high standard”
Clr Liz Smaje, cabinet member for leisure and neighbourhood services, said the service made a “real, practical difference” to the lives of elderly people throughout the borough.