A Caring Carer

Vicky heard about the Dorset Community enterprise project via Dorset Council’s website and joined the development programme. Local Catalyst Anita supported Vicky virtually throughout the restrictions of Covid 19 via emails and telephone calls.

We worked through the Doing It Right Standards to ensure that the support that Vicky intended to provide, kept herself and customers safe. Vicky was able to do this quickly due to her background in the world of care and the fact that she was very motivated, with a work schedule that allowed her to spend time on developing the appropriate policies and procedures for running her own community micro-enterprise.   Anita

With clear plans agreed and the self-declaration signed to evidence that all aspects of running a safe and sustainable enterprise were in place, Anita and Vicky planned the launch of “A Caring Carer”.

I was able to signpost Vicky to the most appropriate directories and gave ideas on where to post and share flyers, and used all of my networks through the Community-enterprise programme to highlight that her support was now available.   Anita

Within four weeks of Vicky launching A Caring Carer she was able to stop working nights in her previous role and focus on what makes her happy – providing the care and support in the way that she believes in, whilst suiting her own home life.

Vicky has a wealth of knowledge, experience and qualifications covering over 20 years of working within the care sector. Her personal motivation was to offer flexible support that people need to enable them to stay living in their own homes for longer. At Vicky’s heart she understands the benefits for people to have real choice around how they are cared for and therefore their lives as a whole.

I have worked in care for nearly 20 years in various settings.  I feel the care system is flawed because as a carer I want to do my job properly and I don’t feel I have the time to do this and promote an individual’s independence. Over the years I recognised that most people just want to remain in their own homes, in familiar surroundings.

Last year I saw a programme about community micro-providers in Somerset and how the council was encouraging local people to use their services in addition to using the big agencies. I contacted Dorset Council to find about support in this area who then put me in touch with Anita from Community Catalysts. Anita helped me with the steps that I needed to take to set up my own enterprise – how to reach people who may benefit from my support and helped me with my mass panic that no one would use me!! I completed the programme with Community Catalysts and called my business A Caring Carer- which is what I am.

Then it was launch time.  I posted flyers with the help of my family and friends, put adverts in the local papers and local shop windows.  I received nothing within the first week. I contacted Anita in a panic that it was not going to work, that no one would be interested, and I would not be able to pursue my dreams. Week two I received several phone calls of interest but still no confirmed customers. Week three I had an enquiry, completed an assessment to check I could provide the right level of support and yippee I had my first customer. Finally, a step in the right direction.

Funny thing was this was someone I had cared for previously. She had been using micro providers for several years – she is amazing. She has a large network of people that she knows and has been helping me to raise the profile of my enterprise by talking to others that may need some help at home too. So, four weeks down the line, I had enough customers to finish my previous job and transfer over to being a micro provider full time. I finally did it!

I can work the hours that I want to work so that I have a better work/life balance. I can do what I enjoy, provide what the person wants and provide continuity of care.  I absolutely love my job 100 per cent. I like the fact that I help people to stay where they want to be, make their lives a little bit easier so they can remain at home.   Vicky

A Caring Carer is a truly perfect name for Vicky’s business. Keeping people at the centre of all she offers, making sure their wants and wishes are heard and incorporated in the care that she provides.  It has been amazing working with such a caring and dedicated person.   Anita