Lancaster City Council scoops national award for helping disabled residents

Simon Miller, Georgina Smith, Sylvia McAllister, Karen Owens (N&C Phlexicare, sponsor of award) John Helme, Claire Chaisty and Stephen Loy from the HIA, picking up the award.
Simon Miller, Georgina Smith, Sylvia McAllister, Karen Owens (N&C Phlexicare, sponsor of award) John Helme, Claire Chaisty and Stephen Loy from the HIA, picking up the award.

Lancaster City Council’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) has scooped a prestigious award for the quality of work provided to disabled residents.

The HIA picked up the Home Adaptations Service of the Year award at this year’s national Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards held at the House of Lords.

Organised by Foundations – the national body for HIAs – and sponsored by AKW, the annual awards recognise the efforts of England’s 200 agencies to offer a wide range of home support to disabled and older vulnerable people on low incomes.

The award recognises the work undertaken delivering disabled adaptations for residents in their own homes.

The judges were impressed by the HIA’s speed in which they are able to deliver adaptations and reduce waiting times for Disabled Facilities Grants for local residents.

The HIA was also praised for their approach in offering access to a wide range of services to clients and the work of the caseworkers in promoting awareness of grants to residents and local partners.

Coun Karen Leytham, cabinet member with responsibility for health and housing, said: “Winning this award is testament to all our Home Improvement Agency staff, who go that extra mile to help some of our most vulnerable residents repair, improve, maintain and adapt their homes.

“It also reflects the commitment of our staff towards providing the best possible service and my congratulations go to everyone involved.”

The awards were hosted by Lord Best at a ceremony held in the House of Lords attended by senior representatives from the housing and health sectors including Care & Repair England chief executive Sue Adams, Jeremy Porteus of Housing LIN and Carl Petrokofsky from Public Health England.

Among the winners and commended entries were HIAs based within local authorities, housing associations and independent charities.

Lord Best said: “The quality of the entries to this year’s awards underlines the valuable contribution being made by home improvement agencies up and down the country to support the most vulnerable in society.

“They are very much on the frontline of ongoing efforts to join up health, housing and social care and enable people to live healthy, independent lives.”

Vince Moorton, from leading accessible bathroom and kitchen manufacturer AKW, added: “These award winners are demonstrating the vital role of practical, tailored support in the home.

“They are not only making a huge difference to people’s lives but are also relieving pressure on acute services.”