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Social Support Suffolk

When Helen first got in touch with Community Catalysts, she knew she wanted to become self-employed and set up her own community enterprise – Social Support Suffolk – offering care and support to others, but wasn’t really sure where to start until she embarked on our development programme.

“I wanted to be my own boss for once and start to enjoy my working life again. I would not have got off to such a great start without Community Catalysts. I did not know where or how to get going. I took the plunge and I haven’t looked back.”

Our development programme supports people to set up legal and sustainable community enterprises. By working with Community Catalysts, Helen was able to ask questions and get one-to-one support with things like advertising, policies and procedures, and getting everything in place to deliver a quality offer.

“Doing Community Catalysts’ development programme to meet their professional standards was a huge selling point for my services.”

While the people we support don’t necessarily need a care background to get started, Helen had spent many years working in health and social care in a variety of roles, and also recently studied for her Health and Social Care Degree BA (Honours) with the Open University, so understood what good care looks like; this meant she knew exactly what she wanted to offer.

“My business offers private personal care assistant services, for example meal preparation, medication prompting, personal care with showering, dressing etc. It also includes doing laundry, changing bedding, hoovering, mopping and, for some, going out for a walk to the shops or just to sit indoors having a chat.”

As Helen works hyper-locally (like many of the other community enterprise leaders we support), she is able to walk or cycle to all her jobs which cuts down on travel costs and local emissions.

“Everyone I support is local and each one has said they would very happily refer me to other family and friends. I have grown my business to a point where I could work 24 hours a day if I wanted to. This is the best paid work I have ever achieved, and I often feel like I am getting paid to visit friends.”

Social Support Suffolk is one of a growing number of community enterprises in Suffolk offering a range of care and support. Take a look at Small Good Stuff to see more community enterprises like Helen’s.