A team of female plumbers, joiners and decorators are helping Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT) tenants to keep their homes in tip top shape.
BH Maintenance is one of three companies taking part in the LHT Helping Hand project which offers a handyperson, gardening, decorating and window cleaning service to its thousands of tenants.
The business, which is run as a social enterprise from Liverpool’s Blackburne House, helps women to train and then work in traditional male jobs from tiling and kitchen fitting to plumbing and decorating.
LHT gave their support to the unique business as part of the Helping Hand service so that its tenants would have a choice between a male or female tradesperson working in their home.
The Helping Hand service gives tenants, especially those who are more vulnerable, access to LHT’s longstanding contractors such AA Molyneux, Marbury and BH Maintenance for home maintenance jobs that aren’t the responsibility of LHT, such as garden clearance, window cleaning and redecorating.
LHT tenants enjoy a discounted rate and get the peace of mind that comes from a fully trained and accredited contractor working in their home.
BH Maintenance apprentice Kathrin McRobert said: “I’ve already done a few jobs for LHT tenants such as clearing gardens, painting and decorating and boxing in pipes and we always get a really warm welcome.
“People are curious about us because we are women working in a traditionally male industry. We had someone stop us in the street recently, when we were wearing our overalls, and ask us about our jobs.
“I love what I do and when I’ve finished my apprenticeship I’m going to specialise in joinery.”
Jon Metcalfe LHT’s supported housing team leader, said: “We realise that a lot of our tenants can really struggle with certain things around the house – like doing jobs around their home and it can be a real challenge to find good, reliable and honest contractors.
“We’ve developed fantastic relationships with our contractors over a number of years, and it seemed logical to allow our tenants to have direct access to them – so that they can avoid the risks of cold calling an unknown contractor – so I’m delighted that we’ve developed this new initiative and I hope many of our tenants benefit from it.”
Andrea Rushton, head of maintenance and construction at BH Maintenance, said: “Without the support of social landlords such as LHT we could not have achieved our ambitions with BH Maintenance.
“It means that we can create more local employment opportunities for women and it also provides a fantastic practical support service to people who need it – we are really happy to be working hand in hand with LHT.”
News Story from North West Housing News: http://www.northwest.housingnews.co.uk/