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Helping out

A few weeks back there was a post on here about someone trying to get help in the garden for their father, so he could stay in his house.

It got me thinking this must be an issue for a lot of older people who struggle to bend and weed the beds.

I'm wondering whether to offer to help some older local people in their gardens, put a flyer through their door, speak to some friends and see if I can help. 

I'm no expert, just love my garden and would like to help people with their garden with the jobs that these garden maintenance people don't do.  (drives me mad when people have 'gardeners' round and yet the beds are still full of weeds.)

If I was to offer to help and maybe ask for a minimal fee, would I then need any sort of insurance.

Do you have any advice with this.  not sure if it will work, I'd just like to do some sort of paid work and this is something I could really enjoy.

I'm not looking, nor could I afford to do a full on training course, so it would be more of a learn from the older generation as well.  Has to be a win win situation doesn't it ?

What do you think ?

Any advice gratefully recieved. Thank you.


  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Peanuts, I think it's an excellent idea.  The chap who does my grass gives me an occasional hand with pruning and weeding.  He is not a "gardener" but has his own garden and enjoys working in gardens.

    SW Scotland
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,025

    About 10 years ago I used to do jobbing gardening for three old people. For two of them it was just weeding and hoeing, in the third I cut the grass weeded, cut back shrubs etc. All for £5 per hour. I just got the jobs through word of mouth.

    if there is a local old folks welfare club or luncheon club it may be worth while paying it a visit with some flyers(BIG writing!).

    Quite a few of my friends have got to the point they need help in the garden either on a weekly or twice yearly basis. But jobbing gardening will not really put food on your table unless you look on it as a part-time job.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,739

    Strictly speaking you should get 3rd party indemnity insurance as a minimum if you are receiving any kind of payment for work.

  • I am based in Ireland,  but the rules and regulations are fairly similar to the UK.  My wife and I run a small business in computers. Not really similar on the surface but the one thing all small business owners agree on is cover your backside. There is always a risk that someone will be a tad upset and you find yourself in receipt of  nasty legal letter. Hasn't happened to me yet... . Should it happen you will be relieved that your insurance company picks up the bill and you keep your home.

    However, if you happen to help out a neighbour who is a plumber, and they in return fit your dishwasher,  that's slightly different. There is "benefit in kind" I think but am not too sure of the UK legislation there.

    Having been all negative, sorry about that, if you can see a way through it to do it and keep your family safe then go for it. There is very little like it. You have spotted a gap in the market and come across as very personable and caring. I think you can make it work, just be careful!

    Even if you are working part time, you still need to protect what is most dear to you

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,097

    It's a great idea, Peanuts, but don't forget to keep records of your income and expenditure.  Unfortunately the Inland Revenue will need to know, for tax purposes - you'll need to register as self employed, and pay National Insurance unless you're over retirement age.  It's not that difficult but you do need to be organised.  image

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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