Back to all stories

Empress Home Care and Companionship

What I do makes a difference…

Having gained over 20 years of experience in the care industry supporting people living with Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and many other health conditions in residential and nursing homes and in the community for large domiciliary agencies, Laura decided to set up her own business to provide a standard of care she felt happy with. This has enabled her to focus on particular aspects of care. Her care and support services are for older people and adults living with physical disabilities, life limiting conditions and those at the end of life, and she also offers wellbeing complementary therapy sessions including Reiki, massage, and reflexology.

Laura shares more about her work and the impact it has in Alan’s story:


“Alan is an 86-year-old gentleman living with Vascular Dementia. He lives on his own with his dog after his wife passed away a year ago. He had become very lonely and more confused. Alan has three children who live nearby who were jointly providing 3 visits a day. but this was becoming incredibly stressful and challenging for the family due to their own commitments of work and looking after children.

Alan needed company, help in the home, preparation of meals, and medication support. To start with, the family wanted me to provide 4 afternoon visits a week to accompany their father on a walk with his dog and to prepare a hot meal for him.

I started to provide these visits using a gentle approach. I was slowly introduced as a family friend and community helper with Alan’s consent, making the first two visits with a family member present. Alan had had a negative experience with a care agency and was adamant he did not want a ‘carer,’ so the family asked for my guidance on how to make him feel more comfortable to accept my help.

After a few weeks, Alan was experiencing falls, due to a UTI and a particular medication which was reviewed and stopped by his G.P. I immediately started providing the extra help. I contacted the social worker who came out to meet me and discuss his care. She took a copy of my care notes and between us we were able to implement some changes to his living environment with agreement from the family. The social worker was able to increase the funding to include the extra support needed. My written notes enabled her to put her case forward and successfully increase his Direct Payment budget. The family now have 2 more community enterprises to assist with the care visits alongside them as a family.

Alan is able to stay in his home which has always been his wish. He appears very content, expressing his gratitude. Through encouragement to eat and drink well, his condition is stable. He has not had any more falls and is able to manage 3 walks per day. The family are much more relaxed and are able to spend more quality time with their father without having to provide all the care needed.

The family have been impressed with my knowledge and ability to liaise with the health professionals and community teams, enabling their father to have the correct equipment to keep him safe and independent in his home.”

Feedback from the family:

“Laura has made a huge difference to us as a family. Our father instantly warmed to her gentle nature, accepting her help easily. After our negative experience with 2 care agencies, we never thought we would find anyone to help. The social worker told us she had contacted Laura and suggested that we get in touch. We are so happy with all the support and do not know what we would have done without her. We are much more settled, and our father is very content.”

“The social worker has also expressed her gratitude saying that it was a pleasure to work with me as her first experience in reaching out to a community enterprise.”

Laura Brown, Empress Home Care & Companionship

Continued support from Community Catalysts

The local Community Catalyst has been attending social work team meetings and presenting at the Direct Payment Peer Group to promote what community enterprises do, and has showcased Laura and Empress Home Care & Companionship when talking with those in the North Herts and Stevenage areas.  The local Community Enterprise Directory link has also been widely shared.

“The Community Catalyst has helped me so much with my confidence and I know I’m getting lots of referrals from Adult Care Services because of the introductions and links she’s made for me. I’ve actually had to at times reduce my workload as I’ve been at full capacity with a waiting list! I have had some great feedback from social workers saying they now have a lot of confidence in working with a community enterprise to fulfil a care package based on the experience they have had with me. They are definitely more on board with using small providers now because of the promotional work the Community Catalyst has been doing. Social workers are coming to me because they see I work in a professional way and I can be flexible.”

Laura Brown, Empress Home Care & Companionship