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Elbow Grease & C.A.R.S


North London Homecare & Support Ltd listened to our Service Users in the Harlow area and were successful in obtaining a grant fund from Essex County Council.  A group was set up called C.A.R.S (Community Access Respite Support).  In this group, Adults with Learning Disabilities enjoyed a weekly meeting, at which they could learn new skills and about their local community from people who lived and worked in it.  It was different and fun.


Some people in the group said they wanted to do something in their local community and suggested helping other people and raising awareness of people with  learning difficulties


North London Homecare & Support Ltd discussed this with Essex County Council and we were successful in obtaining an increased grant to fund the evolution of Elbow Grease Cooperative Ltd. Grant funding ceased and subsequently the Elbow Grease Co-operative Ltd., has dissolved. 

The services provided by Elbow Grease are now provided as part of North London Homecare and Support Ltd. They are commissioned by Essex County Council through the Day Opportunities Framework.


The C.A.R.S group continues to meet every week and is now used as a forum for the members/volunteers to learn new skills and progress.  This is done by sharing skills, arranging guest speakers/trainers and making business decisions, regarding the running and development of the Elbow Grease Service.


Members of Elbow Grease volunteer are supported to deliver a service to local people in Harlow by helping those who are more vulnerable and less able.


The volunteers currently offer assistance with:

  • Light cleaning

  • Light gardening

  • Dog walking

  • Befriending

  • Shopping

  • Any task will be considered.  Other ideas for jobs are: garage tidying and cleaning, cupboard tidying and cleaning, small pet care, spring cleaning, autumn leaf sweeping, the list is endless


The volunteers also work for local charities too.


Elbow Grease aims to provide an excellent, reliable and professional service, which is mutually beneficial to the customer and the volunteer.


We ask for a donation of £10 from the general public (there is no charge for charities).  The money we receive we use for functions and events.  The volunteers earn points for the jobs they do, which can then be exchanged for discounts on arranged social events and outings.


All Members have a detailed support plan that is written with them, to agree how Elbow Grease can support them to achieve their chosen outcomes of their membership whilst ensuring their own needs are met. We are not risk adverse but all activities are risk assessed to promote peoples safety.

Previously, Elbow Grease won the Regional Care Award for Innovation in 2011.

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