It is often a case of picking a number out of the phone book and hoping for the best.

But a not-for-profit service has started a new venture exclusively for the over-50s in the Aire and Wharfe Valleys, who need gardeners, decorators, plumbers, heating and electrical engineers.

Anchor Trust, which helps more than 50,000 elderly people live independently, has started a branch of Anchor at Home in Skipton.

The trust’s new scheme aims to be a “one-stop-shop” for technical services needed by older people in the district.

Craig Smith, the branch manager responsible for Wharfe and the Aire Valley, said: “We are aiming to provide people with peace of mind when it comes to the usual anxiety and challenge involved in finding honest, trustworthy and reliable tradesmen.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, our customers don’t have to pay VAT on labour, there are no call-out charges and the workforce has all passed Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks before being employed.”

Earlier this year, under its Supporting People service, Bradford Council awarded the home improvement agency contract to Anchor Staying Put, part of Anchor Trust.

The handyman service will be provided by Age Concern, working in partnership with Anchor Staying Put.

They will all be wearing uniforms, driving vans carrying the organisation’s logo and will carry ID cards. For more information, call on 0845 1400057.