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End of an era

Neil, Lynn and Kane Francis

After 21 years of maintaining properties for older and vulnerable residents in the shire, the Francis family has decided to retire.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

After 21 years of maintaining properties for older and vulnerable residents in Mount Alexander Shire, the Francis family has decided to retire.

Lynn, Neil and Kane Francis began providing the property maintenance and home safety program for Home Support Programs in 1999. They said there has been considerable changes to the service over this time.

“When we first started out we were mostly mowing lawns. Over the years this expanded into making a range of improvements to homes and outdoor areas to ensure they were safe for clients,” said Neil.

“We started out with 130 clients, and that has grown to around 800,” he said.

Lynn said the business increasingly worked with health experts to install features tailored to clients’ needs.

“Over the years we began working with occupational therapists to install ramps and rails and make modifications to help people get around their home more easily,” she said.

“We’ve had some clients for the entire 21 years, and have been lucky to meet many wonderful people over this time.”

Lynn, Neil and Kane said they would all miss the daily interactions with clients.

“I’ll particularly miss the long term clients and staff – many of them are almost like nanas to me,” said Kane.

Lynn and Neil are looking forward to making use of their new caravan, particularly as travel restrictions are reduced.

“We’ve not really had a proper holiday in 21 years so we’re keen to get out and camp around Victoria, and look further afield once we’re used to it,” said Lynn.

“It will be wonderful to spend more time with the grandkids – after all, life is for living!”

“We would like to send a warm farewell to clients and Council staff and thank them for everything over the years,” she said.

Council’s Director Corporate and Community Services Lisa Knight also thanked the Francis family for their many years of service.

“On behalf of Council I want to extend a huge thank you for the years of dedication and service the Francis family has provided to Council and our residents,” said Ms Knight.

“What an achievement and legacy they have left behind! They will always be fondly remembered by us, and the clients they have supported over the years.

“We wish them well in retirement and hope they embark on many wonderful adventures,” she said.

As part of Council’s procurement process the property maintenance / home safety service contract was awarded to Kepal Building Services Pty Ltd following a competitive tender process.

The Bendigo-based business will start to provide the service, under Director Paul Holmes, from 20 July.

“We look forward to working with Paul and his team and welcome them to the shire,” said Ms Knight.

Image: L-R, Neil, Lynn and Kane Francis.

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