Vulnerable and elderly tenants at two of Suffolk Housing's sheltered schemes, for which Foster Property Maintenance provide ongoing large scale repairs, are now getting a helping hand with simple DIY and home maintenance thanks to the generosity of their community-minded neighbours. Three tenants at the scheme have signed up to become volunteer handymen, and will complete a wide range of easy jobs on behalf of neighbours who are unable to do so themselves.

This could include changing light bulbs or fuses, installing new doorbell batteries, testing smoke detectors, bleeding radiators, unblocking sinks, putting up shelves, painting and plumbing in washing machines. They will use tools donated by Foster, which is Suffolk Housing’s maintenance contractor.

In addition, fellow Suffolk Housing tenant Kevan Doxey has become a volunteer caretaker at a general needs scheme in Dandalan Close in Ipswich. He regularly checks the communal areas are spic and span while also reporting any issues or repairs to Foster so that they can be completed.

Carmen St John, contracts manager with Foster, said: “We at Foster were more than happy to support this project as we felt it helped to provide a gap in the current service that was needed by those who couldn’t carry out these basic tasks themselves.

It was great to meet the residents who have so selflessly decided to give up their time to help others and could see so many benefits this would create for both them and those they help. The sense of community at these sites is clearly evident.”

All larger repairs will continue to be carried out by Fosters.

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