News and Views

News & Views

Business Development Manager - Making Room

MRS Independent Living wish to appoint a Business Development Manager for our Making Room service.

Salary: £30-31,000 pro-rata

Closing date: 10 am Monday 11th December 2017.

Interviews: Friday 15th December

Download Job Description (PDF)

Options for Housing and Care in Later Life

The Second  Event for Older People on Planning for Later Life will take place on Thursday 12th October from 10.30 -12.30  at Banister House, Homerton High Street, Homerton E9 6BN. This event will focus on Social Care and planning for the future needs.

If you would be interested please let us know by emailing or telephone 0330 380 1013

We will be commencing the second round of training for the Digital Inclusion Project in late October. If you would like to learn to access the internet from a mobile device and to support others to use the internet please get in touch by emailing or telephone 0330 380 1013

Administrator (part-time)

MRS Independent Living wish to appoint a experienced part-time Administrator to perform a variety of administrative and clerical tasks.

Duties will include providing support to our service users, assisting in daily project needs and in the management of our company’s general administrative activities.

Salary £23- 25,000 pro-rata. For further details and application form, email or download the documents below.

The closing date is Monday July 17th at 9am.

> Job description (PDF)

> Application form (PDF)

> Monitoring form (PDF)

Options for Housing and Care in Later Life


Thursday 27th July 10.30 -12.30 at Bannister House, Homerton High Street, E9 6BN.


This event for older people, people with disabilities and their friends and family will be an opportunity to learn more about options for care and housing in our later life and to share experiences of using a range of services.

If you are interested in coming, please let us know by emailing us on or by leaving a message on 0330 380 1013 so that we can organise adequate refreshments.

Change to MRS Independent Living services

March 2017

From April 1st 2017, MRS Independent Living will no longer deliver the Home Improvement Agency contract in Hackney. The consequence of this is that from that date we will no longer be able to:

  • help people get adaptation and repair grants
  • carry out small handyperson repairs 
  • provide the free safety check service 
  • provide a Home from Hospital service 
  • provide emergency heating and cooking equipment to vulnerable people when their own equipment fails

A range of services under a new contract will be provided by Millbrook Healthcare , part of the Millbrook group of companies. These services will be similar but not identical to the ones MRS has been delivering. We do not yet have any further details but we understand that from April 1st people can contact Millbrook for details:

Hackney Home Improvement Agency Service
Unit 3, Waterhouse
8 Orsman Road
N1 5QJ
Tel: 0330 124 4487

Details of any incomplete grants work will be transferred to them to complete and we have written to all the people affected to tell them this. 

MRS will continue to deliver all its other services including, in Hackney, our Staying Steady community exercise network and our Making Room service which supports people with hoarding issues to recover use of their home.

However we will no longer be able to staff phones each weekday, so people will often need to leave messages on our voicemail or text or email us.

Bequest to fund innovations for people with disabilities

February 2016

At our meeting on December 1st, the trustees were surprised and moved to learn that our former colleague, the late Ken Bodden, had left MRS around £10,000 as part of his estate.

This gives us an extraordinary opportunity to develop our services in a way that will provide a memorial to Ken and reflect his very strong commitment to the organisation and its service-users. Alongside his many other voluntary and political commitments Ken was a long-standing member of the MRS committee. Besides provision of services, our constitution encourages the development of new products, something in which Ken himself would have taken a great interest. We see opportunities to make use of these funds in developing our work with disabled service-users who needs specialist support at home from both the NHS and from adult services.

The likely focus will be around information technology can best support users to maintain control of data and decision-making. Options we are considering include appointing a disabled member of staff to take this forward, of offering small bursaries, or even perhaps a Ken Bodden prize!

None of this will make up for the loss of the man himself but it can reflect our pride in his contribution and take forward his self-evident wish to be of benefit in the future.


December 2015


Staying Steady has been successful in securing funding in the Connect Hackney community voting sessions for two partnership projects.

We will be working with Hoxton Health providing Mindfulness for Health courses. These are practical courses of medication and movement to restore wellbeing, relieve pain and reduce stress.

Talking Matters will be our partner in providing free health, wellbeing & safety sessions specifically for the Sephardi communities (Aden, Morocco, India etc) and especially for those who may be living alone or isolated.

Both projects aim to start in April 2016, with details available on the website from February 2016.

Annual General Meeting 2015

Service users and members event


We would like to thank all those that attended our AGM on Tuesday 28th July at Haggerston Community Centre and maded it such a success.

Around twenty-five service-users and supporters of the organisation were able to return the current trustees to run MRS Independent Living for another year. The management committee face a challenging task in helping the staff bed down the dramatic changes that have taken place since MRS Independent Living became a home improvement agency in 2013.

During the meeting co-chair John Miles paid tribute to the efforts of the director Alistair Wallace and his team in this regard. The trustees are now Rebecca Henderson and John Miles (co-chairs); Jane Tilston (treasurer); Stephen Steppens, Des Hardiman, Siva Patil and Jane Straker.

Click here to down load a copy of the directors report and accounts for 2013/2014.

If you would like us to post you a copy of the directors report and accounts for 2013/2014 please email

If you would like to find out more about our Trustees or how to get involved with MRS then please email

Annual General Meeting July 2015

Service users and members event

Can “integrated care” really keep us all living well at home?

With guest speakers:

  • James Reilly, Chief Executive, Central London, Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Karl Mason, Senior Social Worker in Accident & Emergency, Kings College Hospial
  • Doug Stem, Development Manager Foundations

 MRS Independent Living led Workshops:

  • Deal with clutter – identifying low level need and the launch of service leaflet
  • Mindfulness for health – a taster
  • Adaptations – grants available, eligibility
  • Panel discussion – “Your voice counts”

Tuesday 28th July – Wine reception from 4.30pm Event starts from 5pm – 7.15pm

Haggerston Community Centre, 179 Haggerston Road, E8 4JB

Places are limited so please book by calling 0330 380 1013 or by email

Islington Handyperson Service - update March 2015

Please note that our Islington handyperson service will end on 31 March 2015. Find out more

October 2014


Islington have now asked us to extend our handyperson service until March 2015. They had told us that they would terminate funding in June 2014, then asked us to extend it to September while they agreed terms with the new provider. In August their plans changed again as they had decided that the council would provide the new service: they need until April 2015 to prepare for this. We will publicise full details of the new service just as soon as we have them.

We are very pleased that Islington have also asked us to provide the pilot phase of a new service for Islington Carers. While most carers can use our service through the person they care for, the new service will carry out work for carers who are not eligible, for example, for people who do not live with the person they care for. For full details, see the Islington Carers Handyperson service. Please note that charges are slightly different.

Islington council knows that life is very challenging for many carers, leaving them little time to sort out repairs and modifications they need at home, and dealing with them can add to the pressure they feel they are coping with in their caring role. The new handyperson service is aimed at supporting Islington carers in the valuable work that they do. The pilot will be looking to find out what demand there is for this service and what kind of work is requested. MRS will be working with Islington Carers Hub to publicise the service. So if you are a carer, or knows someone is and might benefit from this service, contact us.

A walking group for you ...

June 2014


If you are a graduate of our strength and balance programmes and you are interested in attending a lunch time walking group based at Clissold Park over the summer which is specially designed for older people with a focus on building confidence, improving strength and balance with the support of friendly instructors and volunteers then please contact the office on 020 7254 3910 and ask to speak to Anstey.

Closure of Islington Handyperson Service

June 2014


Islington Council has ended its funding for our Handyperson service which will therefore close at the end of June 2014. MRS was unsuccessful in its bid to run their new service. We will provide details of the new provider when we have them and they will have details of the new service. 
When the service closes we will have had the privilege of serving older and disabled people in Islington for 30 years. We will be organising an event to celebrate this, probably in late May or early June. If you are interested in attending, let us know and we will put your name down. 
Inevitably we will need to reduce the amount of new work we take on in order to ensure that we have completed all work in hand by the time the service finishes. This will mean that there may be longer waiting times or that less urgent work has to be turned away.

A Fond Farwell to Ken Bodden

October 2013


Ken Bodden, a Trustee and past chair of MRS, has died. A user of the service and Islington resident, Ken had enjoyed a rich life and leaves many good friends. After his loss of sight following retinoblastoma as a child in Panama, boarding school in Kingston Jamaica and adolescence in Manchester, Ken moved to London. He was involved in a range of political causes, most notably the Anti-Apartheid campaign. He sang and played guitar and percussion in a number of bands throughout his adult life. He made a living mainly as a piano tuner. His funeral at Islington Crematorium overflowed the chapel and was a celebration of his gift for life and friendship.

Throughout his time as a Trustee, Ken supported the need for the organisation to make area difference to the lives of disabled people within the limitations of its resources. We will all miss his warmth, humour and Mancunian good sense. One story from his funeral told of a bed and breakfast with an extremely unwelcoming landlady: when they went to pay, Ken overheard her say to his friend that she would give “a discount for the blind man” and shouted out “ Tell her he’s deaf as well”.