Community Catalysts in Wrexham are proving to be invaluable in helping those in receipt of Direct Payments and in need of care at home.
The project has now helped over 50 Community Micro-Enterprises to set up and are really beginning to make a difference to people’s lives.
One example is that of Colin who had been the sole carer for his wife Sandra for over two years and struggled to receive any help to care for Sandra, who has Parkinson’s disease.
Colin said, “I was no longer able to do the important things in my life and I was really struggling to care for Sandra “
Colin got in touch with Wrexham social services who in turn told him about the many new community micro-enterprises – individuals or small groups of people who have now set up in Wrexham offering care and support.
Colin said, “I was able to look at the directory and contact community micro-enterprises in Wrexham to see if any could come and help me. This was when I found Ilona who recently set up Real Care. Wrexham Council were very helpful enabling me to receive Direct Payments to pay for the support I needed from Ilona.”
Ilona now visits Colin and Sandra most days to help with cooking, cleaning and any other support to make Colin and Sandra’s day easier.
As part of Ilona’s support to Colin she arranged a surprise birthday meal out for Colin with his daughter. On the day of Colin’s birthday Ilona surprised him with balloons, flowers and prosecco. They then drove to the Corn Mill listening to Colin’s favorite album by Dire Straits.
“These community micro-enterprises are a cracking idea”
Colin said, “It was a wonderful meal and Ilona had even baked a cake, I hadn’t celebrated my birthday in two years due to my caring role and it made me so happy.”
“These community micro-enterprises are a cracking idea. I feel more secure now I have the back up and support from Ilona. I must admit it has come as a surprise as to how good it was. It seemed to plug the gap, where we tried for an agency for 12 months but were not able to get the support.”
Ilona was supported by Community Catalysts to set up offering care and support as a community micro-enterprise.
Tom Hughes from Community Catalysts said, “Community Catalysts provides free support to enable passionate and caring people like Ilona to set up working as self-employed or running their own community micro-enterprise offering care and support to their neighbours. It only took six weeks for Ilona to set up her enterprise “Real Care.”
“We work in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council to help local people to use their talents to help other local people.”
Cllr John Pritchard, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said, “It’s amazing what Community Catalysts have done in a short period in Wrexham. People are now able to use their Direct Payments to get the type care they need to help them with their day to day lives. Ilona is an excellent example of how it can benefit and I would encourage others to get in touch to find out how Direct Payments can help those in need of care.”
Ilona who runs Better Care said, “Running my own enterprise doesn’t feel like a job, it feels like spending time with friends or family. I feel like I can personalise care to people’s needs and I have a better work life balance.”
Ilona’s advice for anyone thinking of setting up a community micro-enterprise to provide care – “The rewards against the risks are unbelievable. It doesn’t feel like going to work, it can be challenging but you feel truly valued. I would definitely recommend contacting Community Catalysts to access support to launch your own enterprise to support local people.”
If you know someone who could benefit from a community micro-enterprise providing support you can see the directory of Wrexham enterprises here.
Or if you are thinking about joining the 50+ people in Wrexham who have received free support to set up their community micro-enterprise contact email@example.com.