Care and Repair team turned his life around after family sorrows
Billy Hollywood is part of the Care and Repair Team

Care and Repair team turned his life around after family sorrows

JOINING the Care and Repair team proved to be a turning point for Billy Hollywood, with working on the free odd-job service helping him overcome a dark patch in his life.

Care and Repair is a free service supporting older and less mobile members of the South Dublin County area through doing odd jobs around the home.

It is a Tús initiative which is essentially a community work placement scheme, providing working opportunity to people who are unemployed for a period of 12 months.

People who put themselves forward for the Care and Repair team, which is operated by South Dublin County Partnership, receive full job seekers allowance rate plus €22.50 per week.

The minimum amount that all participants receive is €230.50 per week with Tús, with work placements giving a valuable route for people to learn new skills, return to the routine of regular work and gain lots of experience.

On the vans, Billy spends much of his time doing odd jobs such as garden work, minor home decorating, changing light bulbs, fitting carbon monoxide alarms and all small DIY bits for people in need.

“You get your hours, so I have work on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday with Care and Repair,” the Clondalkin resident tells The Echo.

“You do your 19-and-a-half hours a week, get your holidays, sick leave, and you get to nearly double your allowance as well.

SUPPORT: Billy Hollywood and his “crew” Robert White and Ellen Cahill

“You get fully trained no matter what section you work in.

“I’ve all my certs now and everything, but I hope to get another few.”

Care and Repair currently have 200 clients on their books, mostly elderly, whom they try to visit every three-weeks to maintain their gardens and help local community groups when numbers are low.

Originally from Harold’s Cross, Billy is one of 20 Tús team members with the Care and Repair team, having started about nine months ago in a bid to help himself out of depression.

All within a short space of time, Billy’s mother Margaret, his twin sister Margaret and father William died and it took its toll.

“I lost my mother, my twin sister, my dad and my cousin. This all happened in the last four years,” the 62-year-old explains.

“Everything went downhill after that for me.

“I lost about two years of my life because I was depressing myself, I was always indoors and I isolated myself.

“My family were always mixing with everybody, they were always talking to people.

“When they died, I really held myself back from a lot of things.

“I’m not just saying this, but only for the Care and Repair team I would still be there.

“I can honestly say that working with the lads there in Clondalkin on the Care and Repair team took me out of depression.

“I can’t thank them enough for giving me the opportunity because I’m out mixing again, talking to different people all the time.

“I’d encourage others to get out there with Care and Repair, especially some of the younger kids under 20 who are unemployed and are sitting in on their phones all the time – that’s not good for anybody.

“It’s good for you because you’re able to get a trade, get your certs and get back out there.”

With capacity to recruit up to 40 members, the Tús Care and Repair team are looking to double their work force to help people get back on their feet and provide a service to people in the community.

Those who wish to put themselves forward, can contact Nick or Collette on 1800 938884.

All team members are fully Garda vetted, work in teams and carry identification to identify themselves as Care and Repair representatives.

Residents in the South Dublin County area can email or call 1800 938884.

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