Local people across Oxfordshire are stepping up to offer much needed care and support to their neighbours

Local people are offering care and support to their neighbours as part of an innovative scheme now running in Oxfordshire. The scheme offers free support to help local people set up a community enterprise or work on a self-employed basis offering help at home to older and disabled people.

The project supports people to get started from scratch and also brings together existing enterprises to support each other—for example, by providing holiday cover, or sharing local knowledge. There are now 40 new and existing enterprises in Oxfordshire that offer all kinds of services from help to get washed and dressed to support to continue hobbies and take care of pets.

The project is run by Community Catalysts and funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

Pippa Corner, Deputy Director, HESC, Oxfordshire County Council said:

“We are delighted at the number of people being supported by Community Catalysts to start their own adventures in offering care and support services.  These local people are being empowered to explore their own potential and, in turn, are offering support that is right for the people in their communities to help them live the way they want.  We look forward to seeing what 2022 will bring to help build greater resilience in Oxfordshire’s communities and support more people to increase their independence and remain at home.”

Anita Wingad, Oxfordshire Community Catalyst said:

“We’re really excited to see so many people embracing the opportunity to work for themselves offering high quality bespoke care and support to their neighbours. At Community Catalysts we exist to help local people use their talents to help other local people, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing here in Oxfordshire.”

One local woman, Ines, has set up I Healthcare ltd offering a wide range of care and support in people’s homes. Ines is a registered nurse who became frustrated with the lack of care options for her patients. Ines said:

“There were two options for patients leaving hospital: a care home, which most people didn’t want; and care at home, where the quality of the care was an issue – and the cost. I asked myself, how can I help? Can I make things better? I wanted to play a small part in making a difference. I believe that the good things you do always come back to you.”

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.

Community Catalyst Charmin
Charmin, who runs Abingdon Home Care

Charmin, who runs Abingdon Home Care 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 offering care and support at home or in the community you can visit: www.communitycatalysts.co.uk/project/work-for-yourself-care-help-at-home/#Top

To find out more about the services on offer in Oxfordshire visit:   www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk/the-directory/search/?region=oxfordshire