News and Views

News & Views

Administrator job opportunity

Administrator - £22,000 pro rata (16 hours per week over 4 days)

MRS Independent Living is recruiting an administrator to ensure the smooth and efficient running of MRS’s office and our main services and projects on a day-to-day basis.

The role will involve managing incoming requests/referrals and coordinating work primarily for our home adaptations service and exercise network (Staying Steady), but also supporting other projects as necessary. We’re looking for someone who is highly organised, methodical and able to relate to our service users with empathy and understanding.

>View and download the Job Description (PDF)

To find out more about this opportunity, please contact Natalie Pink, Senior Project Manager on or phone 0330 380 1013.

To apply for the role, please send a CV and covering letter to by Tuesday 19 February 2019.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 5 March 2019.

Digital Information Support Worker job opportunity

Digital Information Support Worker - £26,000 pro rata (2 days per week, 0.4 FTE)

MRS Independent Living is recruiting a Digital Information Support Worker to deliver its digital inclusion project for older people in Hackney. If you’re confident with digital technology and the internet and are interested in helping older people learn, this could be a great opportunity for you.

The aim of the project is to help older people feel more confident using digital technology and the internet, and able to use the internet to do things they want to do online, e.g. shopping, using social media, planning a journey. The role will involve coordinating and delivering our programme of activities in four areas of Hackney. Activities include informal ‘learn together clubs’, drop-in sessions and home visits. The post-holder will work closely with older people to understand their needs and help them learn in a way that suits them. Patience, understanding and flexibility are therefore essential for this role.

>View and download the Job Description (PDF)

To find out more about this opportunity, please contact Natalie Pink, Senior Project Manager on or phone 0330 380 1013.

To apply for the role, please send a CV and covering letter to by Tuesday 11 December 2018.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Terry Bednall

Terry Bednall is leaving MRS after 3 years. She came initially as a case worker to work within our Home Improvement Agency, a role to which she brought a lifetime of skill and experience. She made an absolute commitment to supporting and advocating for our service users, all of them challenged by a range of disabilities and health conditions and many of them highly frustrated and demoralised by the long wait imposed by the adaptations system. Terry’s work resulted in many more issues being surfaced and resolved much earlier in the process. This meant we could reduce time-consuming breakdowns at the point of actual delivery and ensure that adaptations met our users' needs. Service-users and their families began getting in touch to thank us for our support.

With the loss of that contract in April 2017, Terry embarked on delivering Peer Support services. These were initially funded through the Silverlinks programme to focus on the options available to older people around care services and housing issues. But Terry extended this initiative to include digital inclusion and also set up a diabetes group to address the needs of the African-Caribbean community. She had particular success in drawing in a diverse range of people who had not participated in similar projects before.

Most recently Terry has been the key driver of our recruiting to a range of new posts in anticipation of her departure. Stephen Gardner who started in early July will take forward the Peer Support work in her place. Terry has played a vital role to help us make the difficult transition that followed the loss of our Handyperson and Home Improvements services last year. The Trustees and the Director offer our profound thanks for all that she has done, and for her commitment to see this through before she left.

Jobs at MRS Independent Living

MRS Independent Living is looking to recruit for the following positions.

Staying Steady - Project Manager/Senior OT or Physio: 3 days pw @ £ 37,000 pro rata.

Senior Projects Manager: To provide overall management and development for all our projects: 4 days pw @ £35,000 pro rata (subject to negotiation).

Peer Support Community Worker: To develop our peer support services in the 4 most deprived wards in Hackney: 3 days pw @ £28,000 pro rata.

Temporary Support Worker: For the Making Room Service for people with hoarding behaviours. Initial 2 month appointment for a minimum of 22 hrs per month @ £11.25 per hr.

You will need emotional intelligence and empathy to support service users to work to an agreed plan as well as the physical and administrative ability to declutter and organise spaces. This job could offer valuable experience to people working towards qualifications in mental health, care and support work and social work.  

Email us for more details:

A Peer Support Course for people with Type 2 Diabetes

  • Have you been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or do you think you are at risk?
  • Would you like to meet with others who are trying to make life style changes?
  • Are you unsure of the changes you should be making?
  • Do you know what you should be doing but somehow just can’t get around to doing it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this may be the course for you!

5 Tuesdays from 13th February to 21st March 2018

  • Time: 10.30 to 2.30
  • At: Unit C1, 3 Bradbury Street, Hackney N16 8JN
  • Including a delicious lunch!

The course is open to all older people but is geared particularly to meeting the needs of African and Caribbean communities. Each session will include delicious and healthy refreshments.

To book a place or if you would like further information and details, please let us know: 

Telephone: 0330 380 1013 or Text ‘Yes’ to 07834006843 or Email: 

Places are limited – so let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

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”.