Hyperlocal care options continue to grow thanks to Oxfordshire business support

Charmin Abingdon Care

People in Oxfordshire who receive adult social care support at home are now able to choose from a wider range of services thanks to the success of a free scheme that helps people to set up their own care micro-enterprise.

Social enterprise group Community Catalysts is being funded by Oxfordshire County Council and offers mentoring advice alongside practical business support, helping people to work for themselves by offering care and support in their local area.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Smaller care providers help people to live well and independently within their own communities, improving health outcomes and reducing the need for more formal care.

“By helping to support these micro enterprises from start-up to becoming an established care provider, we are helping local businesses grow and developing greater local choice for people looking for additional support.”

Micro-enterprises can offer a variety of support from help to get washed and dressed to support to continue hobbies and take care of pets as well as community activities.

The Community Catalysts’ programme includes taking people through the Doing It Right standards, so that new micro-enterprises have a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver quality care. One hundred people have now signed up to the standards and have the combined potential capacity to support one thousand people in the county.

Many of the people in the scheme have had personal experience of caring for their own loved ones, and that has inspired them to set up their own small business.

Charmin Croft runs Abingdon Home Care after being given start-up support from Community Catalysts. Charmin said: “My experience with dementia in my own family and my role as an unpaid carer has really helped me to run a better enterprise. I can share my experience with the families I support. I always make sure that they know they need to look after themselves as well as their loved one and take time for their own mental and physical health.”

To find out more about setting up a small care business visit communitycatalysts.co.uk/project/work-for-yourself-care-help-at-home

To find out more about the services on offer in Oxfordshire, go to www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk/oxfordshire

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