Jan 11, 2019

Trade Referral Service an Invaluable Support

A new year dawns and with it the Care and Repair Programme turns twelve; how time flies! From its humble beginnings in the Dublin Docklands in late 2016 we now work alongside our 25 Community Partners to deliver the service in locations nationwide.

The history of the programme begins with a large volume of calls to our Information Service from people who struggled to find a reliable person to carry out a small job, one too small for a tradesman but difficult for an older person to do themselves. Those small jobs like changing a lightbulb, putting up a shelf or the dreaded assembling of ‘flat pack’ furniture become a major problem for someone suffering from illness, limited dexterity or reduced mobility. So began the Care & Repair service and our volunteers have been helping people with small jobs around the house ever since.

However people also had difficulties when they needed to hire professional tradesmen to do larger jobs. Stories of “rip-offs” were all too common and highly distressing for the victims. Callers asked if we knew of any qualified tradespeople who they could hire for those larger jobs. Tradesmen who wouldn’t ‘rip people off’ and would turn up at the time agreed. We created a list of local tradesmen who agree to abide by a code of conduct and who provide their insurance details to Age Action.

Age Action provides the tradesman’s contact details to people who need them. The client contacts the tradesman and requests a quotation for the work. They are free to hire the tradesman if they are happy with the price offered, or to decline for any reason should they chose to do so.

This Trades Referral service has proven to be hugely popular, with an even higher number of calls than the free volunteer service for smaller jobs. We follow up with phone calls to ask clients how the job went and make sure they are happy, just as we do when our own team carry out a small repair. Feedback about the service is hugely positive. People feel safer than they would hiring someone they don’t know. Many of our members will always call us when they need a tradesman.

We now have lists of everything from electricians and big builders to chimney sweeps and home cleaners. Between this and our volunteers for small jobs, we can support people with most issues around maintaining their homes. Ultimately we aim to help people to remain living in their own homes in increased safety and comfort for as long as they wish.

Jan 3, 2019

Getting Started - 2018 Report

Happy Learners and Volunteers!
Happy Learners and Volunteers!

By Jennifer Glansford - National Development Manager

The Getting Started Programme at Age Action is going from strength to strength and 2018 proved to be year where we began classes in new areas and took on some new staff to co-ordinate these new classes.

The programme aims to deliver step by step training in a supported, encouraging and relaxed environment in local venues, with local volunteers to local people. The true essence of community development!

During 2018, we delivered training in:

98 separate venues including:

  • 26 Local Libraries
  • 20 Corporate Organisations
  • 30 Schools & Colleges
  • 9 Sheltered Housing Complexes
  • 10 Community Centres
  • 3 Age Action Offices/Training Spaces

We had 5073other contacts with people attending our Drop In Services in Dublin and Galway, Information Talks, Workshops, Extra Training and Technical Support appointments.

We trained 2,657 people who availed of 10 hours of one to one training.
Classes were provided in 16 counties including new counties of Wexford, Clare, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

We are supported by the Digital Skills for Citizens Fund under the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and while we are delighted to be grantees of this fund, extra funding allows us to extend our services such as Drop In Cafes, Technical Support and Information Talks.

The volunteers who support the Getting Started Programme are without doubt the backbone of the service and are the biggest resource. Without their commitment, time, fun and friendship, we could not continue offering one to one training – the piece that makes the difference for older people who have taken the leap to engage in the digital world.

Thank you to all who have supported us this year including volunteers, venues, corporates, schools and Dublin City Council.

Wishing you all a very successful 2019 – the sky is the limit!

Jennifer & The Team.

Oct 18, 2018

Free Carbon Monoxide Alarms for Older People

For the third year running Age Action will be installing carbon monoxide alarms free of charge for older people through our Care & Repair programme.

National Development Manager John O’Mahony is delighted to be able to provide the alarms again this year. “Our Care and Repair teams provide free DIY jobs for older people all year round. The people we visit are often living alone, with no family members to care for them. We aim to make sure they are comfortable and safe in their own homes. We are hugely grateful to Gas Networks Ireland for this donation of carbon monoxide alarms for our clients.”

Owen Wilson, Gas Networks Ireland said; “Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that’s very difficult to detect so it’s essential that every home has a carbon monoxide alarm. Gas Networks Ireland is very pleased to be able to donate 4,300 carbon monoxide alarms to Age Action Ireland to help older people protect against the deadly gas.”

The alarms will be available from September to Care & Repair clients in Dublin, Cork, and Galway and through our Care & Repair community partners in other locations around the country. 

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