Former Middlesbrough Poet Laureate Andy Willoughby will read from his new long poem Between Stations
A major service that helps people stay in their own homes for longer is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency was launched in 1991. Its central aim is to enable those in need of support to maintain their independence, health and well-being in their home for as long as possible.
The team includes specialist technical staff who work alongside housing occupational therapists to deliver major adaptations to people’s homes.
The team also provide grants to owner occupiers and manage a speedy handyperson service called Middlesbrough Mobile Adapt & Mend Service (MMAMS) which helps people with minor adaptations, repairs, home safety, affordable warmth measures and one-off garden clearances.
Those who benefit from the agency’s work include older people, those on low incomes and people with disabilities.
Last year the agency assisted more than 1,800 clients.
Councillor Charlie Rooney and Staying Put Agency team leader Suzanne Hodge, attended an awards ceremony last month hosted by Baroness Greengross at the House of Lords.
The awards celebrate independence in later life and recognise the fantastic work that home improvement agencies do to keep people living independently at home.
Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency received a commendation for its work around the delivery of adaptations.
Baroness Sally Greengross said: “Home improvement agencies can help prevent people from entering residential care unnecessarily and offer significant savings for taxpayers too.
“The sector is still leading the way in developing socially enterprising approaches to reach new client groups and still demonstrating that you can make good services even better, ensuring that valuable public resources go that bit further.”
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Everyone has the right to a happy and fulfilling life and Staying Put has made a major contribution to that happening for many people in Middlesbrough.
“Independence goes a long way to creating a good quality of life – with the right support and advice it can be maintained well into older age.
“Staying Put has provided priceless reassurance and help to a lot of people over the last 20 years and I have no doubt that work will continue for many years to come.”
Staying Put will celebrate its landmark birthday with a special ‘Transforming Independence’ event at the Trinity Centre in North Ormesby on Wednesday, July 20 from 10am to 3pm – and everyone is welcome.
The event will be a great opportunity for organisations, clients and the public - who have all benefited over the last two decades - to network and raise awareness of the support and services available in Middlesbrough that can help people maintain and improve their independence.
A number of local organisations will have information stands at Wednesday’s gathering including Middlesbrough Environment City, One Planet Living, Cleveland Fire Brigade and Police, Community Service Volunteers and Independent Living for Older People.
Entertainment will be provided by a pianist playing contemporary and classical music.
Those attending will also have a chance to try their hand at a variety of activities ranging from an active walk session and driving simulator to a Food4Health cooking demonstration and a Wii Fit session.
The event is open to all and will include refreshments, free tombola and free raffles prizes.