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From costs to cancellations, our Customer Care Team answer some of the most often asked questions about the Home Help Service. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please get in touch.

Who will clean my home?

Your home will be cleaned by a member of our Home Help team, all of which are friendly and dedicated to their work. For security and your peace of mind, our Home Helps are trained, will always carry identification, are fully covered by insurance and police checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service.    

What will a Home Help do in my home?

Following your initial enquiry, if you decide to take up the service the next step is to arrange a home visit which allows us to better understand your domestic cleaning needs and expectations.  We will discuss your requirements and complete a task list at this visit that is specific for you and agreed so that our Home Help will be clear on the tasks you would like completed and your expectations.  The task list can be adjusted at any point by prior agreement to suit your needs. In addition to any special requirements that you may have requested our cleaning service includes but is not limited to removing cobwebs, dusting skirting boards, pictures, lampshades, window sills, furniture and vacuuming throughout. We wash floors and thoroughly clean kitchens and bathrooms.  We are able to collect weekly shopping and prescriptions too (mileage is payable on shopping trips where Home Help is using their car).  

What times are the Home Help Service available?

We work Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm and make every effort to meet customer preferences. 

What is the cost of the service and how do I pay?

There is a one off £20 registration fee which is payable by cash or cheque at the first home visit.  The hourly charge is thereafter £15.40 and is payable monthly. We recommend Direct Debit but card payments can be taken over the telephone.  We do not accept cash payments and our Home Helps are not allowed to take them due to the risk to their safety of carrying cash.   

Do I have to sign up to a contract that commits me to the service for a set period of time?

We do not have a contract that we expect you to sign and you are under no obligation to stay with us for a minimum amount of time. We provide a regular weekly service and we would prefer to earn your continued loyalty based on our ability to meet your needs than rely on a contractual relationship. We look to you to provide a candid review of our cleaning service and your feedback is welcomed on a regular basis.  

What is your “Never Walk Away” policy?

Our unique “Never Walk Away” policy is a pre-agreed emergency plan that we follow if one of our clients fails to answer the door, this means that we will not leave until we know the whereabouts of the client, this can for example involve contacting next of kin, hospitals and in some cases the police.  This policy provides reassurance to clients and families, has been universally praised and in some cases resulted in the saving of lives.  

Will I have the same Home Help each visit?

We value the importance of having a regular Home Help and understand that many people do not want lots of different people coming to their home. You will have the same Home Help each week for cleaning, shopping or sitting, this in turns helps to build a friendly yet professional relationship which helps to combat loneliness and social isolation.  

When your Home Help is on holiday or unwell we will provide a replacement Home Help to provide continuity of the service to you where possible.   

What if my scheduled Home Help Service falls on a statutory holiday?

You will be asked if you would like the service on an alternative day in the week and we will make every effort to reschedule your appointment for another day and time, in some cases this may be with an alternative Home Help to your usual one.    

Do I need to provide any cleaning equipment or supplies?

We use our customers cleaning supplies and equipment provided that these meet health and safety requirements and are in their original packaging. We have found that clients like to choose their own cleaning products  and we feel it is important to support client choices. If a particular product is required for a task and is not available, we would advise our client and they would need to purchase the product before we could complete the task for them.  All our Home Helps are provided with disposable gloves, aprons and hand gel which should be used to complete tasks, the exception to this being ironing only.  

Can you hold the keys to my house?

We do not hold keys however we can collect keys from a neighbour or use a key safe for access if required as we realise some of our clients have difficulty with mobility.  Your key safe number is kept secure and as you will have the same Home Help this will remove any  worry of lots of people having the code, we take your security very seriously.  

Can you clean my home when I am not there?

Yes, with prior agreement. We have a procedure in place to safeguard all clients and Home Help workers which you will be made aware of before the Home Help can do this.  

Do I have to do anything before my Home Help arrives?

It is not necessary to do anything however if you have requested shopping then it is helpful to have your list ready for when the Home Help arrives.  

What if I want to arrange any special cleaning requests, cancel my appointment or need to change the day or time of my visit?

Please give your local office a call, ideally providing them with at least 24 hours notice as staff will need to inform your Home Help worker of the cancellation or rearrange your visit with them. If we do not receive 24 hours notice you may be charged for the visit. Special cleaning requests will need to be agreed before the Home Help can undertake them, this would be anything that has not been pre agreed on the task list at the initial home visit. In the event that we have not been notified and the Home Help worker attends your home for the pre-arranged visit, we would follow our “Never Walk Away” emergency procedure to ensure your safety and whereabouts before leaving.  This is known as a frustrated visit for which you will be charged.  

What if something gets broken when my home is cleaned?

We treat your home with the utmost care however in the rare event something is damaged or broken, our Home Helps are fully insured and we would deal with the problem as quickly as possible.  

Can a Home Help cook my lunch or make me a sandwich, help me with personal care or medication?

Home Helps are not able to provide personal care or administer medication. Please look at the Information and Advice section of the website or telephone 01245 346106 where a member of the team will be able to advise you of different options available and signpost to other organisations.  In some areas we offer a Food Preparation Service (we can add your details to our database to contact you if this becomes available in your area).  

If I am not happy with my Home Help what should I do?

If your Home Help is not doing a task quite as you would like we encourage you to speak to them directly, as often this is easily resolved and our Home Helps aim to complete tasks to your expectations.  However if you feel unable to do this or the situation remains unresolved then please contact our Home Help Customer Care Team who will assist you in finding a solution.   

Who do I speak to if I have a general enquiry, compliment, complaint or any other comments on the service?

The Home Help and Sitting and Companionship Service has a dedicated Customer Care Team, who will be able to answer your general queries on the service.  The direct number for them is 01245 423 333. you can also email the Customer Care Team at homehelpandtoenailscustomercare@ageukessex.org.uk.  

If you would like to write to the Customer Care Team, the postal address is Home Help and Toenail Cutting Service Customer Care Team, Widford Hall, Widford Hall Lane, Off Tattersall Way, Chelmsford CM2 8TD.   

We encourage our customers to communicate any comments to us as your feedback will help us to help you in delivering a quality service to be proud of.  We listen to our customers and value every single one, we want you to feel we care about you, that you can trust us and that we are committed to providing you with the best service we can.