Local people in Harrogate are benefiting from a new partnership between HELP, Covance Laboratories and AMS Limited.

HELP supports older people, those living with a disability or those who are vulnerable, to live independently in their own homes. The help they provide includes a gardening, decorating and odd jobs service ‘Help at Home’ for those unable to do the task themselves or who cannot afford to pay a professional tradesperson. Limited staff time and resources and high demand for the service mean that the charity has a long waiting list of jobs.

HELP began working with Covance in 2015 on a number of fundraising initiatives but the Facilities Management Directorate were keen to explore other ways of working with the charity to benefit its clients. Covance has access to a wide range of skills within its own staff team and its suppliers and kindly donated two contractors from AMS Limited for four days to assist the Help at Home team with some of its larger, more complicated painting jobs.

AMS sub-contracted the work to P&D Painters & Decorators who spent two days with the team on a couple of jobs in the Harrogate area. Having seen the difference the work made to HELP’s clients, AMS then donated an additional four days of support.

One of the jobs carried out with the support of Covance, AMS and P&D was for a single mother of two who was in temporary accommodation and recovering from spinal surgery. Just before her operation she had received notice of a Council House becoming available. Unfortunately the previous tenant had been a heavy smoker and the entire house was nicotine stained. With the help of friends, the lady was able to scrape some of the clumps of nicotine off doors and window sills and they started to do some of the lower level painting. However, they knew it would need specialist knowledge and equipment to decorate the hallway and landing.

P&D Decorating spent two days with the Help at Home team transforming the property, getting rid of the nicotine stains and smell. The difference was remarkable. Graham Reid, Senior Contracts Manager at AMS, comments on the transformation: “A lot of work went into covering the staining and ensuring there would be no leakage. The lady and her friends had prepped the walls well but it still required four coats of paint to do the job properly. It was an absolute pleasure to see how much our work has made a real difference to the lady and her two children.”

Lucy Hind, Director of Covance Facilities Management, said: “Being able to support HELP’s clients directly like this really fits with our CSR programme and enables us to engage more with those people in our community who need help. We are exploring more ways of working with HELP, both on fundraising initiatives and volunteering our time to help the people they support.”

Covance logoAMS LOGO