Girl Friday Somerset Ltd
Girl Friday Somerset Ltd is a community micro-enterprise (operating as a social enterprise) based in the small coastal town of Watchet, Somerset. Recently launched by Pearl Leyshon, Girl Friday offers a matching and introduction service between local people (working on a self-employed basis) able to offer ‘home help’ type services and older people needing support to live their lives independently at home.
Pearl runs Girl Friday out of ‘The Garden Room’ her florists shop at the centre of Watchet. Pearl explained that this slightly unconventional arrangement works well as it gives her the opportunity to mix her two passions, flowers and connecting people in her community.
Having the florists as a base works well for other reasons as Pearl finds most requests for support come through word of mouth or through customers.
The Garden Room has been a community meeting place since it opened, the kettle is always on for people in need of a chat… Girl Friday Somerset was a natural extension of this
Pearl goes on to explain that once people get themselves established the relationship between Girl Friday and the enterprising ‘home helps’ is based on trust. With each gardener, cleaner or helper operating as a community micro-enterprise, independent of Girl Friday, and each taking responsibility for the support that they provide to older people.
Pearl knows first-hand how tough it is being an entrepreneur running a small business, knowing where and how to start and reaching new customers. With this in mind she aims to make Girl Friday as valuable to small local businesses as it is to people who need help at home. Pearl has a close link with the local ‘employment hub’ in Watchet and has offered peer support to several people.
Rhys the coordinator of Community Catalysts’ Micro-enterprise Project in Somerset has been working with Pearl and the enterprising home helps, enabling them to establish systems and offer their services in a safe and high quality way.