County Durham Handyperson Service is best in the UK

A Durham team helping people live independently for longer has won a top national award.

The Bernicia County Durham Handyperson Service, which is headquartered in Pity Me, has been named Handyperson Service of the Year at the Foundations National Healthy Housing Awards 2019.

The award recognises excellent practice in delivering handyperson services and was presented to the team at a ceremony held in Central Hall, Westminster.

The service – which provides practical support and offers a lifeline to members of the community aged 60 or over, helping them to live independently, safely and comfortably in their own homes for longer – was praised by judges for excellence in service delivery.

Commenting on the award win, Mel Baynes, assistant director, care and support at Bernicia, said: “This is a brilliant achievement for the team and I’m so proud of them. Every one of them is dedicated to helping people across County Durham live independently and to have that recognised nationally and be named at the best at delivering this vital service is just amazing.”

Service manager, Steve Errington, added: “Over the last 10 years, we’ve supported around 78,000 customers and have completed over 136,000 tasks as well as helping people to engage with other vital services such as the Fire Service, Adult Services, Citizens Advice and Alzheimer Society to make sure that they have everything they need to live well and independently.

“The team has worked hard to build a service that people not only trust and rely on, but also one that goes beyond just changing a light bulb or putting up shelves. It’s hugely rewarding to see the difference we can make to peoples’ lives by doing a few jobs around the house for them and this award is just the icing on the cake.”