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Our dirty little secret — we can’t manage without home help

91 per cent of British Jews rely on some sort of help around the house. Do you?

    File photo of a domestic cleaner
    File photo of a domestic cleaner (Getty)

    The sparkling, clean, spic and span homes of British Jews are very unlikely to be all our own work. Ditto our manicured lawns and spotless windows.

    According to a survey released this week by World Jewish Relief, 91 per cent of British Jews rely on some sort of help around the house.

    More than half employ a cleaner at least once a week, with 20 per cent requiring more frequent visits.

    And more than half have visits from gardeners and window cleaners in the course of a year. Handymen are also popular, with 37 per cent needing their help at least once a year.

    But there is little demand for assistance in the kitchen — 99 per cent of respondents said they have never felt the need to employ a personal chef.

    There is apparently little need for au pairs, with only three per cent of respondents using one,

    A mere five per cent of the community have a carer visit on a weekly basis.

    In perhaps the most eyebrow-raising result, 11 per cent of men said they are visited by a beautician in their homes — the figure for women is barely double that at 23 per cent.

    But the desire for physical perfection is seemingly skin deep —only six per cent of respondents said they have a personal trainer come to their home.

    London Jews are more likely to have a cleaner than the communities of Liverpool and Manchester. However, Jews in the north-west of England are more likely to employ a gardener every month. They also much more likely to employ a window cleaner than other Jews around the UK.

    Fifty-seven per cent of British Jews said they would struggle to cope without help in the home.

    Older Jews were more likely to require assistance than younger Jews, with 22 per cent of those over the age of 55 saying that they couldn’t manage without help in the home compared with just 10 per cent aged between 18-34.

    Lack of time was the most common reason given for employing home help, with 47 per cent saying they were too busy to do chores, a figure rising to 65 per cent for those in the 18-34 age group.

    Nearly a third of all respondents either did not want to do the tasks or did not know how to. One in five weren’t physically able to carry out jobs in the home.

    The survey, carried out by Survation, polled 1,028 Jews over the age of 18 in July.

    It was released ahead of World Jewish Relief’s Rosh Hashanah appeal to fund home care-workers for older Jews in eastern Europe, helping with personal care, household chores and giving lonely people the chance to chat.

    Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s chief executive, said: “Being alone in your old age is frightening, particularly for vulnerable older people who have become housebound. With the support of the UK Jewish community, we can change that.”

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