Care & Repair

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Care & Repair's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Care & Repair is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Care & Repair Cymru’s Chief
Executive Chris Jones
A client-centred home
visiting service
Care & Repair Cymru is a registered charity and national
body who represent 13 Care & Repair agencies that
provide housing support to older people across Wales.
They are committed to ensuring that every older person they
care for has suitable accommodation and a level of support that
ensures that they can continue to live independently and with
dignity in their own home. As the population of Wales grow
older, they are striving to meet this increased demand. Chief
Executive Chris Jones explains the measures they are taking to
achieve this.
For 27 years, we have provided services that help older people to live independently
at home. Our strapline “Improving Homes, Changing Lives”
describes what we do
and the impact our work has on the lives of older and disabled people. We receive
funding from many different sources. The Welsh government provides a core grant
to help us support people aged over 60, and additional funding comes from a
Sustainable Social Services grant, the lottery and commissioning arrangements with
local authorities. This is supplemented by the NHS and charitable donations.
We are a national body and lead the sector. We represent our agencies, ensure
quality and consistency, monitor and evaluate outcomes, raise awareness and grow
brand identity. We speak up on behalf of vulnerable older people living in poor
housing, connecting housing with health and social care. We also help to inform
government policy for older people and make the case for public funding, arguing
for the provision of additional resources for frontline services.
»Chief Executive: Chris Jones
»Established in 1991
»Based in 14 office locations
throughout Wales
»Services: Housing services and
»No. of employees: 270
»No. of clients: 40,000 annually
Care & Repair
Highlighting best practice
The 13 agencies we represent are
all charitable and not for profit
organisations. Our expert teams deliver
trusted and practical frontline services
across Wales. Our caseworkers, skilled
tradespeople, qualified surveyors
and other staff perform a number
of different roles including housing
repairs and improvements, home
energy efficiency, raising funds and
increasing welfare benefit take-up.
In 2017 we helped 27, 823 older
people, completed 15,100 jobs to
help prevent injuries from trips and
falls, improved the heating of 1,186
homes, carried out £15.6 million
worth of housing improvements and
repairs and helped 2,161 frail older
people through our managing better
partnership with health, social care and
national services. We also helped 1,112
people to increase their household
income by accessing a total of £5.32
million in unclaimed benefits. Of the
people that we supported, the average
age was 76, with ten per cent aged
over 90 and 35 per cent living alone.
A reputation built on trust
We help older people by making their
homes safe, warm and accessible. This
enables them to live independently
with dignity for as long as they want
or are able. Our clients are mainly
older owners and private tenants, but
through locally funded contracts, we
can help people aged 50 plus, younger
disabled people and some social
housing tenants.
Trust has been a key element of
our success over the years, and a
reason that we are highly valued as
a service. We visit our clients in their
own homes, having conversations
with them to identify the problems
they are facing and how we can
help them to overcome them.
We provide individual, tailored
solutions that are designed for their
needs. These include full property
surveys and the preparation of
work schedules. We also help to
find funding to complete projects
by applying for many different
types of grants. We ensure that our
clients are claiming all the welfare
benefits they are entitled to and
complete all housing improvements
through trusted contractors or our
in-house tradespeople, which are
either subsidised or free of charge.
Our social businesses, who may also
complete these works, provide quality
and value for money and reinvest any
surplus into charitable activities.
Supporting older people
to live in warm, safe
To contact us call 0300
111 3333
For 27 years,
we have
services that
help older
people to live
at home
An ageing population
As the population of Wales grows
older, we face unprecedented
challenges to meet the housing needs
of an ageing society. Since 2010,
the economic climate has seen a
huge reduction in funding for public
services, including third sector and
charities such as ours, and the years
ahead will see increasing demand for
already overstretched public services.
There will be an ever-growing need
for services like ours to support older
people to live independently at home,
improve their health and wellbeing,
and reduce demand in an already
overstretched health and social
In Wales, more than 80 per cent of
older people are owner-occupiers,
and as they grow older, most of
them want to remain living in their
own homes and communities. It is
widely acknowledged that where we
live has a profound impact on our
health, wellbeing and quality of life.
A fundamental aim must be to ensure
that existing housing meets the needs
of older people and that we tackle
the dilapidated, inaccessible and
cold homes that are responsible for
preventing independence. The work
we do to improve unfit housing is
more important now than ever.
Our services prevent or reduce demand
for NHS services, such as GP visits, and
social care. As well as improving the
quality of life for tens of thousands of
older people every year, this reduction
in demand saves money for Wales’
increasingly stretched statutory services.
Despite our work, there is still
substantial unmet need, and many
thousands of older and disabled
people that we cannot help due to
insufficient resources. Unless we
act, these people will suffer poor
housing conditions. They are at risk
of falls leading to serious injury, fuel
poverty and premature death during
the winter, and an inability to live
independently at home with dignity.
Other conditions such as rising damp,
unsafe gas installations and dangerous
electrics only exacerbate these issues.
Our ambitions and aspirations
Our primary focus is to ensure that
no older person in Wales lives in
unsuitable accommodation. We aim
to eradicate the possibility of anyone
dying in the winter months due to a
cold home or living in a house that is
hazardous. Everyone should be able to
live independently with dignity.
We aim to tackle all of these issues
and ensure that every older person
we help is claiming the welfare they
are entitled to. In the future, we also
want to help people better plan for
where they live when they are older.
Where older people cannot stay put
or want to move, we will help them
find appropriate housing for their later
years and retirement, and help them to
move where necessary.
Through our new five-year strategy we
are confident that we can continue to
perform our vital work and raise the
living standards for every older person
living in Wales.
In Wales, more
than 80 per cent
of older people
are owner-
occupiers, and
as they grow
older, most of
them want to
remain living in
their own
homes and
Close partnerships and a shared
vision between Care & Repair
Chief Officers across Wales

This article was sponsored by Care & Repair. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister