Iwona Medrala – Care 4 U

Last year with support from Community Catalysts Iwona Medrala set up an independent home help, care and companionship service in Taunton, Somerset. She runs her community enterprise alongside her other two passions; caring for her son and her local wedding photography business.

Iwona shared her story with us:

For me care is not just about practical tasks, like washing or dressing, it’s about the things you can’t see. It is about the warmth, a smile, spending quality time and giving people your undivided attention that makes them know that you are with them. This is why I set up independently. I enjoy giving something of myself to people, this was not possible with my previous roles in a residential home and a care agency.

My last customer when we first met he was quite poorly, but his biggest issue was that he was so lonely. But after three months of visiting him regularly, talking with him and spending time with him, he became a different person. He began to talk more, he ate more, and wanted to do things and he began to smile, even his skin colour changed. So we started making plans, whether that was going out in the garden having a trip out, we would have things to look forward to.

Because of things like this in my opinion being a micro-provider is better. You can build an attachment and it a relationship between you and that family in an environment that they feel most confident in

The families who use Iwona’s service are also pleased as Mrs M the daughter of her customer explains:

It was such nightmare, before I heard about the Micro-providers, trying to sort out care agencies with availability to look after Dad. When we did find an agency it was so hit and miss. I find that we were always having to fit in around their times and availability. The advantage of Iwona and Kat (another Micro-provider) is that they can organise their own time, often around my dad and what he wants. He doesn’t have to worry about them letting him down. He knows what time they are coming and what they are going to do when they are there. This is important as my Dad is the kind of man who wants to know what is going on. It is important for me also, as his daughter living away that I can speak directly with Iwona or Kat and see how things are and talk about what is needed

Iwona has been operating since September 2017 and explained the role of Community Catalysts with her enterprise.

When I found out about Community Catalysts it turned what was an idea into a reality. It was great to have someone that you could trust at the end of a phone who is able to listen, offer help and provide answers. Rhys was almost like a “partner in crime”. The networking meetings that Rhys organised opened my mind to the possibilities. I didn’t know what was out there and it makes you really think about your business and the considerations. The contacts and links from these meetings mean I no longer feel isolated, I have a network and the advantage is that we can give families more options of support if they need them