From boiler repairs and leaking roofs to having a chat – WHiA is a lifeline to Warrington’s older residents as the nights draw in.
The home improvement service is run by Warrington Housing Association for older, disabled or vulnerable people and families on low incomes who own their own homes or live in private rented accommodation and wish to repair, improve or adapt their homes.
WHiA caseworker Nicola Isaac said: “As the colder weather approaches WHiA’s workload increases drastically. We see an increase in heating repairs, fences blowing out and roofs leaking, but also calls from clients who are feeling a little low in mood with the nights drawing in and just need to hear a friendly voice.
“Our main clients are older, vulnerable, disabled or low-income families. However, we don’t turn anyone away, so we often help people who don’t fit into those groups. We have a lot of clients who come back to us year in year out for advice and support.”
WHiA offers support and help on funding, technical advice, help with selecting contractors, help to organise building work, visits on site while work is progressing and assistance with architectural services. But it is so much more than just a repair service for people in Warrington.
Nicola explained: “We help with building works, adaptations, advice, grants, emotional support – pretty much anything and everything goes. People have even asked us to for help with funeral plans and advice on how to take someone to court!”
And 2020 has proved more of a challenge than most years for the whole WHiA team.
Nicola said: “We have a backlog of work from the first lockdown when contractors were required to down tools. They are trying so hard to get work booked in and completed.
“Luckily our clients, even though they are desperate to get jobs completed, seem to be happy to wait because they know how amazing our contractors are and what a great job they will do.”