Yorkshire Housing win grant from South Yorkshire police commissioner

Dr Alan Billing visiting the sheffield office in 2015 and Layla Walton (second left)

Vulnerable adults are to benefit from crime prevention measures thanks to a project involving Yorkshire Housing.

The housing association’s Sheffield-based Home Improvement Agency (HIA) won a £5,000 grant from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner recently.

It will pay for security measures inside and outside people’s homes – including window alarms, window locks and additional security locks for doors.

The scheme is aimed at vulnerable adults in areas of disadvantage in Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield affected by crimes such as burglary.

People aged 60-plus are a focus, but HIA staff will also work with police to identify vulnerable people based on circumstances rather than age, illness or disability.

The HIA’s team of Needs, Advice and Support workers and handypersons will deliver the project.

And the motivation for it came from their work on the ground in communities across the region.

Layla Walton, South HIA and internal adaptations manager, said: “Our client group encompasses elderly people and those who disabled or vulnerable.

“As a result, the HIA team come across clients on a daily basis that live in fear of, and may be at risk of burglary, all due to a lack of security measures in their homes.”

The HIA has worked on similar schemes through police and crime commissioner funding on three previous occasions.

Dr Alan Billings even visited the HIA in 2015 to see their work and also present a grant cheque in person.

The latest project began this summer and is set to continue until April next year.

Recipients will be identified by police and other partner agencies plus HIA staff during customer visits.

Crime prevention advice and further reassurance involving police will offer them extra peace of mind.

Layla added: “The project will address the number of vulnerable people who are targeted by criminals for theft, burglaries, distraction burglaries and bogus callers through the supply and installation of the required security measures.”

The project will be assessed through a customer satisfaction survey, with outcomes and further feedback passed on to the police and crime commissioner.

It fits into the HIA’s overall mission – which is to help ensure everyone can remain independent, secure and have a safe place fit to call home.

Other current schemes include promoting smart meter use among the over-65s and a domestic violence project.

The HIA is also involved in home adaptations, gas safety, electrical checks, adaptations for discharge of patients from hospital and the delivery of core local authority contracts.

Layla added: The impact that our services have on people’s lives are invaluable to both the individual and also the families of that individual.

“We’re devoted to helping people live independently and comfortably in their own homes and in a way that keeps their dignity.”

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