Jayne Holgate of Age UK Business Directory writes a guest blog about an issue that affects people throughout the UK, and Age UK Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s initiative to help them find trustworthy tradespeople.
Five years ago, Age UK Nottingham and Nottinghamshire were thinking of ways in which they could proactively help to protect older people from rogue traders. With constant tales in the media of older people being ripped off by untrustworthy tradespeople it quickly became apparent that this was a vital area that they could offer help to older people.
In order for older people to feel safer when selecting a trader, whether it was work in their property or choosing a solicitor, they would have to feel confident that these people were telling them the truth, for example whether they were qualified, whether they were even going to get the job done efficiently and effectively etc.
Out of this idea came the Age UK Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Business Directory. The Business Directory combats the fears that older people, or anyone for that matter, may have when choosing a trader, by only listing traders who have been thoroughly checked by Age UK staff. Also as extra reassurance, the Business Directory team mediate should any problems occur.
This concept, initially implemented by Age UK Nottingham, was so well received in Nottinghamshire that other Age UKs all across the country started to see how it could help older people in their local area and help their charity. As a result, five years later the Age UK Business Directory now operates in eight different regions.
These Business Directories are an online resource, assuring that they are up to date and local. However, if someone is not online, each directory has a Freephone/ Helpline number, meaning that if they are unable to search the directory themselves, all they have to do is call that number and a member of local Age UK staff will search the directory for them, and supply them with the names and numbers of traders over the phone then and there.
The not-for-profit project has made a huge impact and has given many older people peace of mind whilst still allowing for independence.
We’d love for as many people to be able to access the directory as possible, if you think you know anyone who would benefit from knowing about the scheme click on the following link and select the relevant region, this will direct you to your local site which lists a Freephone number: www.aubd.co.uk