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We recognise that sometimes the biggest battle is knowing where to start looking for the information you need.

We have gathered together information about the trades, services and organisations we get asked about most often - to help you make informed decisions.

Find a trade or service

We have collated a list of searches and links below for a variety of trades, services and organisations - click on a heading to expand it.

We strongly suggest that you read our Choosing a Reputable Trader Guide when making any selections or decisions.

View or print our "Choosing a Reputable Trader" guide

If you have trouble using the list of searches and links below then please contact us and we will try to provide the information another way.


The results that are produced by the following searches are for information only. Age UK Southampton does not recommend any of the trades or services that will appear in the searches below, nor do we recommend the search providers. If you follow a link you will be taken to an external website, the content of which Age UK Southampton is not responsible for.

Aids, Equipment and Technology

List / Service Suggested Search or Link 
Aids and equipment for independent living

Did you know you can request a free assessment of your needs from your local authority's adult social care team? This could help by providing some aids and equipment for free, to help you manage more independently.


Personal Alarms/Lifeline providers - coming soon

Stairlift providers (hire or purchase) - coming soon

NRS Healthcare -Southampton Community Equipment Services Medequip provide Southampton Council community aids and equipment and also have a retail arm for customers to purchase equipent privately. Tel: 03332 408 335

Disabled Living Foundation (Living Made Easy) - independent guidance on choosing aids including EquipMe tool

NRS Healthcare provide the Handyperson service and registered Home Improvement Agency

NHS Wheelchair service - Rosscare

Age UK info guide - Adapting your home

Hearing and Vision aids for hire or purchase

Open Sight Hampshire

DeafAction (national)

Southampton Sight

SightLine Directory (by RNIB) 

Deafblind UK

Mobility aids and wheelchairs for short-term hire


Southampton Shopmobility in Bargate provides manual and electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters to people with limited mobility, enabling them to access the city centre and shop independently. The Shopmobility equipment includes a range of different mobility scooters (3 and 4 wheel), powerchairs and manual wheelchairs to suit individual needs. Tel: 023 8063 1263

Red Cross Mobility Aids for HireOffer equipment for hire and sometimes able to take 2nd hand equipment to re-use.


Disability Equipment Serviceis a free national website for buying and selling new and used disability equipment.

Donating/ disposal of mobility aids and equipment

Local charity shops may take simple equipment but it is best to ring and check. Age UK charity shops are managed by Age UK national; you can find your nearest one here:

Southampton City Council have a paid-for bulky item collection service for larger items. 

You could list the item on a free-to-list website such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace - it may be just what another local person is looking for!

Southampton Community Equipment Service (part of NRS Healthcare) Tel: 03332 408 335 can advise you about drop-off, collection or other locations to which the equipment can be taken 

If the item was provided through the NHS, social services or another support agency then they may take them back.

If the item was purchased privately the supplier may have their own refurbishment or recycling scheme.

For stairlifts, some local stairlift companies remove and refurbish these - see our ‘Stairlift providers (hire or purchase)’ list above

Red Cross Mobility Aids for HireOffer equipment for hire and sometimes able to take 2nd hand equipment to re-use.

Disability Equipment Sent Overseas (DESO) - collect crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs to be sent overseas

Disability Equipment Service is a free national website for buying and selling new and used disability equipment.

If you're paying someone to remove items or rubbish ensure they have a waste carrier license.

You could be entitled to extra money called 'Attendance Allowance' from the government to help with the additional costs of having a long-term health problem or disability. This could be put towards purchasing of aids, equipment and services.
Technology and computer support / training

Abilitynet - national charity offering free IT support at home for many types of technology. Also a number of useful factsheets on choosing tech for people with impairments e.g. mobile phones, computer aids. Tel: 0800 269545

Southampton City Council run computer clubs with partner agencies.  

Learn My Way - free user-friendly online training

Southampton Blue Lamp Trust - Cyber Bobby- local charity currently offering free 'Stay safe online' training

Have you asked your library or local college about computer classes? Your local library may offer help using computers or help from a Digital Champion – 023 8083 3007 

University of the Third Age (U3As) is an organisation that promotes life-long learning and engagement. Your local branch  may have an IT club you could join.

Some banks have 'digital champions' for money-related issues e.g setting up online banking


Age UK Info Guide - Staying Safe

Health and Wellbeing

List / Service Suggested Search or Link  
Chiropodist/ Podiatrist / nail cutting (incl. home visits)

The College of Podiatry Tel: 020 7234 8620

Chiropodists, Podiatrists and Footcare Practitioners list - Age UK Wiltshire info list
Have you asked your GP if you qualify for free NHS podiatry services?

NHS dental practices database

Age UK factsheet - Help with health costs

NHS Community Dental Service 

Age UK factsheet - Dental Care

Hairdressers- Mobile / Home visiting Mobile hairdressers - Age UK Southampton info list - coming soon!  
Opticians- Mobile / Home visiting  Have you asked your usual optician if they offer home visits? 
Local lunch clubs, social opportunities and groups Age UK Southampton list of local lunch clubs, day centres and friendship groups - coming soon! Age UK info guide - Healthy living

Housing, Care and Help at Home

List / Service Suggested Search or Link
  Did you know you can request a free assessment of your needs from your local authority's adult social care team? This could help by providing some aids and equipment for free, and potentially means-tested funding towards a care package.
Sheltered Housing & Housing Options - database of sheltered housing (select 'Housing' and type in postcode)

Did you know most rented sheltered housing schemes are applied for through local council housing registers?

Age UK info guide - Housing options

EAC Housing Options for Older People tool (HOOP)- online questionnaire to guide you and provide further advice

Sheltered housing in Wiltshire and Southampton - AUKW info sheet

List of Almshouses - Age UK Southampton info list - coming soon!

EAC / HousingCare factsheets - housing options and moving in with family etc.

Care homes NHS choices database of care homes (with CQC ratings)


Age UK info guide - Care homes


Age UK Care home checklist


Age UK Factsheet - Finding, choosing and funding a care home

Hampshire Connecting Care Services Directory Guide - see pgs 124-169 for Care home listings.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) - reports on quality standards of care homes

Which? Cost of care and eligiblity checker tool - to compare estimated costs of care agencies and care home fees by area

Care at home / care agencies

NHS choices database of Homecare agencies (with CQC ratings)

Age UK info guide - Getting help at home

Independent Lives provides support and advice for people with Direct Payments in Hampshire 

Shared Lives Southampton (helps people live as part of a family, within the carers home, where they receive the support or care that they need) 

SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living -  can provide support and advice if you have Direct Payments or Personal Budgets or if you are self-funding your own care and support. Our Advocacy and advice team can help with debt issues, housing and dealing with problems with services. 

Which? Cost of care and eligiblity checker tool - compare estimated costs of care agencies and care home fees by area.

HomeCare Association
The UK’s membership body for homecare providers.

Hampshire Connecting Care Services Directory Guide - see pgs 49-69 for Care agency checklist and care provider listings.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) - reports on quality standards of care agencies

HomeCareReviews - provides a platform for reviews of various home care agencies across the country.

The Live-in Care Hub Impartial information resource for arranging live in home help.

Support for self-funders of care

Care Home Selection - care agency and care home finders service (free and independent)

Independent Living Centre - SPECTRUM - care support planning and brokerage, including for direct payments and self-funders

Skills for Care - advice on employing a Personal Assistant

Gov MoneyHelper Service - explains options to consider for self-funding care

Domestic help

Domestic help can be tricky to find and, as with other services, we're not able to recommend any individuals or companies.

Why not ask friends or neighbours locally for recommendations or check your local church or parish newsletter?

Age UK info guide - Getting help at home

Domestic Home Help Guide – Age UK Southampton info sheet - coming soon!

Buy with confidence (search for 'Cleaning Services') (select 'domestic help' from drop down list)

Hampshire Connecting Care Services Directory Guide- some care agencies may offer domestic help, see pgs 21-27

Yellow Pages

Food and shopping options

Shopping options - Age UK Southampton info sheet - coming soon!

Meal providers - Age UK Southampton info list - coming soon!

Furniture charities, recycling and collection

Southampton City Council bulk item waste collection(paid for service)

You could offer your items online for free via Gumtree, Freecycle, Freegle or Preloved. 


SCRATCH Southampton furniture recycling project

Many charity shops also offer free collection services for good quality items for donation.

British Heart Foundation furniture and electrical store

DEBRA furniture collection 

Naomi House

Oxfam shops in Southampton 

Sue Ryder shops 

Local Authorities

Southampton City Council   

General enquiries tel 023 8083 3000

Adult social care team tel: 023 8083 3003      Email: 

For Adult Safeguarding  contact the Southampton Council Social Care Help Desk on 023 8023 3344. If you are calling out of hours then please call the Emergency Duty Service


What to do if you're concerned about someone - Age UK national information

Home Maintenance, Energy and Security


Southampton Blue Lamp Trust - Bobby Scheme

Offer free home security checks across Southampton for older people and those who are otherwise vulnerable or disadvantaged. They can also fit security equipment including keysafes.

Age UK info guide - Home Safety Checker

Home Improvement Agency / Handihelp service  

NRS Healthcare provide the Handyperson service and registered Home Improvement Agency in Southampton

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire Service   Tel: 023 8062 6751

Offer free 'Safe and Well' home visits across Wiltshire to help you keep safe and healthy at home. Can check and fit smoke alarms where required.

Help with energy and winter warmth

We produce a Spread the Warmth leaflet- information on local and national schemes relating to improving energy efficiency, extra money for heating costs and energy saving advice.

Age UK info guide - Winter wrapped up

The Environment Centre Tel: 0800 804 8601

A local charity that specialise in energy efficiency advice. They can give you tips on how to save energy and reduce your bills, advice about approved installers and information about any grants or schemes available in your area.

Trades and Services

Don't forget to read our "Choosing a Reputable Trader Guide"at the top of this page are other information sources for many types of local businesses but are not checked or endorsed.

List / Service Suggested Searches



Builders and DIY (also see 'Home Maintenance' above)

Federation of Master Builders


See also 'Home Maintenance, Energy and Security' section on this page


Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence

Swindon Council Traders List (Buy with Confidence)

Electricians NICEIC register of electricians


Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence

Gardening Services

The Gardeners Guild


Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence  
Painters and Decorators The Painting and Decorating Association


Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence


Find an APHC Installer

Chartered Institute for Plumbing and Heating (CIPHE)

Federation of Master Builders

Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence

Stopcocks directory of women plumbers

Plumbers (Heating engineers) Find an APHC Installer Check they are Gas Safe registered   

Travel and Transport


Blue Badge Scheme

A concessionary parking scheme for people with severe mobility problems. Available from your local authority:

Southampton City Council Tel: 023 8083 3748


Public and Community Transport

> Bus Pass and Taxi Vouchers schemes - A concessionary travel scheme for older people and people with significant mobility problems. Taxi vouchers may be available if you cannot make use of your bus pass. Contact Southampton City Council

My Journey Southampton   -a travel awareness website giving information and advice to people who are giving up driving, to help them get around more easily, using a range of travel choices and options.

SCA Community Transport  - Community transport provide transport for people who struggle to get out and about e.g. getting to medical appointments. Tel:023 8022 2033




Transport to hospital

Non Emergency Patient Transport to hospital - (NEPTS) for those that require transport to/from hospital and are unable to get there themselves. Eligiblity criteria is set by the government and based on whether someone's medical condition prevents them from travelling by any other means.

NHS volunteer responders (during COVID19) - Patient transport is available via a professional referrer such as GP or health professional.

A local taxi service or Driving Miss Daisy’ service may be an option if you are not eligible for other schemes or cannot use public transport because of your health.

Also see Link Schemes above and the individual hospital websites will usually have a 'Find us' or 'Travelling and directions' page.


Disabled access toilets in the community (Key scheme)

Disability Rights UK – RADAR keys £5.00 (excl. VAT) with free delivery  Tel:  020 7250 8191

Other places to try: Selected Scope charity shops, Independent Living Centre (Semington) and local town councils may have stocks.


RiDC (Research Institute for Disabled Customers)

The RiDChave a number of useful guides including: 

mobility scooters and scooter insurance   choosing and using an adapted vehicle


In the driving seat - Age UK info guide


Money and Legal

List / Service Suggested Searches
Benefits and extra money

Ask us for a free income maximisation check - we can check your eligibility for welfare benefits and explore other areas of financial support like help with health costs, grants and other schemes!


Age UK Info guide - More money in your pocket


Warm Home Discount

Wiltshire Surviving Winter Grant

Wessex Water Pension Credit discount

NHS low income scheme 

Charitable grants

Council Tax Discounts - non-means-tested. Including for certain carers and people with a disability– check with your local council

> Southampton City Council Household Support Fund

Planning ahead

Age UK 'Lifebook' - free downloadable booklet helps you to gather together useful information and contacts in one place



Financial Advice (incl. for care planning)

The Society of Later Life Advisers


Gov Money Helper Service

Tax Help for Older People

Free Debt Advice


Citizens Advice


Frontline Debt Advice
Telephone: 02380 552866

Legal advice

Solicitors for the Elderly

Southampton Advice and Representation Centre - free legal advice for eligible customers

Law Society - find a solicitor

  Beacon (NHS CHC appeals and challenges)

Age UK info guide: Wills and estate planning - list of participating charities that offer free wills


Free Wills Month

Free Wills Month - free will planner sheet


Powers of Attorney

Gov guide: Make and Register a Power of Attorney

Age UK info guide: Powers of Attorney


Office of the public guardian: Hints and tips to avoid common mistakes with forms

Our Resources

  • Age UK Information Guides and Factsheets

    Age UK produces free information guides and factsheets on a wide range of topics, including home adaptations, benefits, dementia, and advice for carers.

    You can find a complete list of guides and factsheets on the Age UK national website.

    Age UK Information Guides and Factsheets 

  • Little Book of Useful Information (Southampton)

    This little guide has details of some of the most commonly asked questions about local services and organisations.

    Little Book of Useful Information (PDF, 207 KB)

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you are looking for a trader in your local area you could also try the following:

  • Word of mouth is often a good source of local information - friends, family or a neighbour may be able to recommend someone from their own experiences.
  • If you are looking for a trader, you can try looking on the TrustMark government-endorsed tool to find tradespeople or Trading Standards - Buy With Confidence which is endorsed by local Trading Standards departments.
  • Town, parish and church newsletters or websites often have current information about local traders and services. 
  • are information sources for local businesses but are not checked or endorsed.

Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, provide volunteer support for older people struggling to manage on their own and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.