Our Story

Care & Repair was born in Wales in 1979

Care & Repair was born in Ferndale, Rhondda in response to acute problems faced by older homeowners living in housing that was unfit for human habitation and lacking in basic amenities.

1979

The pioneering project in Ferndale was followed by the development of 8 Care & Repair Agencies in Wales by the mid-80s. Development was helped through an “Assisted Agency Initiative” actively supported by the Welsh Office, and “Care & Repair Ltd” which at the time was helping develop Agencies across Wales and England.

Mid 80s

An important Conference, “Care & Repair in Wales- the Way Forward”, was held in December 1990, attended by a number of stakeholders including the Welsh Consumer Council, the Welsh Office, Care & Repair Ltd, Welsh County and District Councils, Welsh Care & Repair projects and academic institutes.

1990

The Conference agreed on a number of important actions including future funding and timetable for Agency development, and the setting up of Care & Repair Cymru as a separate independent body in 1991/92 to lead the further development of Care & Repair in Wales.

1991/92

Through the 1990s, recognising the increasing problems faced by older people and the value of Care & Repair, Welsh Office/Welsh Government funding grew to enable existing Agencies to develop and new Agencies to form. With Care & Repair Cymru leading on developing new Agencies, there were ten agencies established by 1993, and twenty by the end of 1995.

1990 - 95

In 2003-2004 the Welsh Government announced it would provide ‘enhanced funding’ for Care & Repair Agencies to provide core Care & Repair services across the country delivered by 22 Agencies.

2003

Welsh Government core grant made available for the movement increased to £4.9 million in 2009/10. However, due to grant reductions in response to the recent difficult economic climate in 2013, a journey of mergers of Care & Repair Agencies started, with the aim of reducing management and overhead costs in order to protect front line staff and services from the impact of cuts to grant. By 2016 there were 13 Agencies delivering Care & Repair services but all Wales coverage remains.

2009/10

In September 2015 Care & Repair Cymru changed its governance arrangements from being an Industrial and Providence Society with Charity Status, to becoming a Registered Charity with the Charity Commission to allow it to develop and diversify funding streams, for itself and the Movement, and move away from being a predominantly grant reliant organisation.

2015

What us our future vision?

Care & Repair is more relevant today than it has ever been before. We have our roots firmly in Housing, and the core of what we provide will be services that help improve the housing of older people, so that they can continue to live there independently. Our relevance has however shifted, and we believe we will be increasingly relevant to Health and Social Care which is clearly moving increasingly towards helping older people live independently at home and early intervention services that prevent or delay crisis points such as hospital admissions, unscheduled care, GP visits, or long term residential care admissions.

Our experience for over 25 years is that there is an important role for a strong national body, Care & Repair Cymru, to lead, co-ordinate, ensure quality and consistency, advocate for older people, innovate, research, evaluate, inform good policy, protect and promote the brand, and raise more funding for more services. We also believe that all Wales coverage of Care & Repair Agencies for delivering services at the front line should be protected and grown. We believe we are highly relevant to an overall aim of improving prevention in Health and Social Care, and improving quality of life and well- being for older people.

As well as growing our historic aim of helping older people stay independent in their own homes, we also have some specific new aims:

  • Developing and delivering our new “Managing Better” Service- with important new features
  • Developing a new service, “Moving by Choice” to support older people in decision making and planning housing options in later life.
  • Developing a “Boiler on Prescription Scheme”, working with GPs to identify older people whose health is adversely affected through living in a cold, damp home.

From small beginnings, Care & Repair in Wales has developed into the movement it is today with a Care & Repair Agency covering every part of Wales, led and supported by Care & Repair Cymru.