Client celebrates a decade of service | Wright Vigar

Client celebrates a decade of service

 In News

CJS & LHIA Photo - smallStaff at a county social enterprise – which is playing a key role in helping disabled, elderly and vulnerable people to live in their own homes for as long as possible – are about to celebrate a key milestone.

This month, Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency (formerly Lincolnshire Home Improvement Agency) is 10 years old, and it will be celebrating a 120 per cent increase in both turnover and staff since its inception, thanks to making a big difference to more people’s lives than ever before.

As a valued client of Wright Vigar, we would like to congratulate LHIA, as its growth is clearly reflected in the charity’s figures and the fact that it has expanded to employ 26 people over the past two years.

Lincolnshire’s ageing population, their physical, mental and financial needs, and the monetary constraints facing the county are driving the demand for LHIA’s services.

These include its property adaptations and improvements, Handyperson help and the supply of products designed to make daily living easier. LHIA’s door is open to anyone needing support to live independently in their own home.

Clients may have been told about LHIA by the local authority and those helped may be people who qualify for grant aid or, alternatively, self-funders.

However, in 2013 LHIA became a founder member of the Lincs Independent Living Partnership (LILP). Soon afterwards, it led a successful bid on behalf of LILP to deliver the prestigious Wellbeing Service contract.

LHIA Director Mick King said this is being delivered for Lincolnshire County Council by LHIA, in partnership with Age UK Lincoln, Boston Mayflower and LACE Housing.

“The Wellbeing Service delivered by LILP is available in full in five of Lincolnshire’s seven districts; Boston Borough, the City of Lincoln, South Holland, South Kesteven and West Lindsey; and the Home Safe hospital-supported discharge, which is part of it, is also available in East Lindsey and North Kesteven.

People can tap into the Wellbeing Service by calling the county’s Customer Service Centre on 01522 782140.  An adviser will check their eligibility and make referrals. People will then be visited by a trusted assessor within seven days.”

A personal support plan is drawn up and LHIA and its partners may go on to supply and install bath seats, chair risers and key safes, adapt someone’s home and make it safer by fitting grab rails or provide lifeline services.

“We were delighted when we won this contract, because we bid against national providers. It is great that it was not only awarded to a local consortium, but fantastic to report that it has been extended for a third year,” said Mr King.

“This has made a huge difference to our operations and we have seen our team grow from 12 to 26 staff. It has also had a superb knock-on effect for local businesses.  In 2014/15 alone our supply chain included thirty local contractors.

“The same year, we spent over £700,000 on salaries and local goods and services and our activities led to nearly £1.6 million being circulated in the local economy.”

In its first year, to April 2015, more than 4,400 people were supported by the  Wellbeing Service, including over 1,600 people who had never before had support.

It reduced the number of people needing acute health and wellbeing support and reports revealed 60 instances where ambulance call outs and A&E attendance had been avoided – leading to an overall saving of £20,940 on hospital admissions.

That number of new Wellbeing Service clients has risen to over 3,000 in the second year, an increase of nearly 90 per cent. This is in addition to LHIA’s support for more than 140 clients by delivering major adaptations, ranging from stairlifts to full house extensions.

“As part of our everyday services and also the Wellbeing Service, we continue to handle lots of benefits reviews for people. These involve making applications to the Department for Work & Pensions in respect of disability living, attendance allowance, personal independence payments and other benefits.”

By the end of March (2016), with our partners we secured over £1 million in extra benefits for people, said Mr King.

LHIA also has agreements with Boston Borough and South Kesteven District Councils to deliver Handyperson Services and with the City of Lincoln Council, Boston Borough and South Kesteven Councils to deliver its Disabled Facilities Grant adaptations. This service is also about to go live in North Lincolnshire.

LHIA staff will celebrate the organisation – and team members’ achievements – at its inaugural staff awards ceremony at The Bentley Hotel in South Hykeham on April 14.

This glittering event will be hosted by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln and LHIA President, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson.

Wright Vigar Ltd Director Chris Shelbourne said: “At Wright Vigar we work closely with the team at LHIA to ensure, as a Social Enterprise, it is receiving personally tailored and timely advice on key financial areas of the business.

“We are delighted to see the services provided by LHIA and its partners are having such a positive impact on the community and we are very happy to support this event, which will recognise and celebrate the achievements of all team members within LHIA.”

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