My Support and Care Services (West Country) Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by My Support and Care Services (West Country) Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from My Support and Care Services (West Country) Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.mysupportandcareservices.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | ERSKINE
knowledge required to deliver “Erskine
Care”. We therefore continually engage
across the UK to educate peers and
potential staff in the dynamic career
choices available at Erskine, when
holistically supporting our veterans’
physical, mental and spiritualwellbeing.
Extending our services to the
wider community
Veterans in Scotland, as elsewhere, can
suffer from isolation and loneliness,
when years of service and productivity,
alongside military comrades, finally
end. Young, unemployed veterans
living alone, perhaps with PTSD, and
older veterans, bereaved or living with
a sensory or cognitive impairment,
can all be affected – with potentially
tragic outcomes. Our residents benefit
enormously from our daily offering of
stimulating, meaningful activities and
therapeutic sessions.
We therefore decided to extend
similar services to veterans in the wider
community. The Erskine Veterans
Activity Centre, housed in a converted
Victorian stable block, welcomes 170
members weekly, of all ages, to enjoy
hot lunches, woodworking, music,
archery, rambling, computing, arts,
crafts, casework support and relaxation
therapy, alongside like-minded souls
with a shared heritage. We are
therefore seeking similar, characterful
venues across Scotland, from which
to extend these impactful services to
veterans who are isolated and lonely.
Delivering outstanding care and
support services is a very expensive
endeavour. Annually, we must raise
£10 million to bridge the funding
gap between what veterans and local
authorities can contribute and the cost
of providing levels of care and support
which we believe veterans deserve.
However, fundraising is a growing
challenge. Economic uncertainties
mean fewer people can donate and
those who can understandably seek
assurance that their investment will
achieve outcomes. Historically, around
50 per cent of our voluntary income
was met by gifts left in the wills of
people, whose families traditionally
supported “The Erskine Hospital”
during conflicts. The sad demise of
the World Wars generation has seen
our gift income decline. We are now
investing more into seeking, engaging
and stewarding a new family of
supporters and corporates – inspiring
them with the range of innovative
services we offer to the Scottish veteran
community. This will involve opening
new marketing, communications and
donation platforms, as well as more
productivecollaboration.
We also remain attuned to how
veterans’ needs change and what
support they need to live life to the
fullest. We are actively considering
more Erskine Veterans Activity
Centres in new locations, to deliver
both meaningful social support and
potential development of other
services. Thus, veterans can live better
lives with their loved ones and friends
in their own communities.
Whatever we do, veterans can be sure
of a century’s worth of understanding
and compassionate care services,
optimised by the very latest learning
and technology. We are therefore
quietly confident that our current and
future supporters will, like Erskine, be
“Proud to Care”.
A century of
understanding
A home from home
23MY SUPPORT AND CARE SERVICES (WEST COUNTRY) LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIALWORK
Managing Director LesleyBarker
Every customer of My
Support and Care Services is
an individual
My Support and Care Services (West Country) Ltd
supports adults and children with learning disabilities
and associated mental health needs. Managing
Director Lesley Barker explains that this ranges from supported
living services to enabling individuals to develop life and social
skills within the community. Lesley tells
The Parliamentary Review
that the service also operates a supported holiday department,
My Holiday Place, to provide valuable experiences as well as
respite for service users and their families.
Having worked in social care for some 40 years, I have managed several care
homes and have worked abroad in Africa, Bulgaria and Romania and the US,
working for companies who often only sought to meet the requirements, and not
to exceed expectations. This was fundamental in the formation of My Support and
CareServices.
Every customer of My Support and Care Services is an individual, with skills, talents
and the ability to achieve goals specifically meeting their needs and abilities.
Everyone is treated as an individual and encouraged to be who they are.
Expecting more
We always work with the expectation that people are capable of more than
expected. To feel valued and successful is very important within our ethos, when
supporting people within their lives.
FACTS ABOUT
MY SUPPORT AND CARE SERVICES
(WEST COUNTRY) LTD
»Managing Director: Lesley
Barker
»Founded in 2014
»Located in Honiton
»Services: Supporting adults
and children with learning
difficulties and associated
mental health
»No. of employees: 40
My Support and Care
Services (West Country) Ltd
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | MY SUPPORT AND CARE SERVICES (WEST COUNTRY) LTD
In line with this, the people we
support with have access to a range of
experiences, and in the coming year,
we are even visiting Borneo to work
with orangutans. We set goals which
encourage people to aim higher, while
also ensuring they can be achieved.
The sense of self-worth and motivation
created through meeting goals is
incomparable in our experience.
One of the biggest obstacles we face
is employment for the adults we work
with. There is a lack of funding within
the system to provide the support
needed; most have support to meet
only their basic needs, but emotional,
social and occupational needs are far
too often not met due to insufficient
funding, so such needs are so often
overlooked. As an aspect of our
work, we have a charity – Creative
Opportunities for Independence.
We have a shop which supports the
development of workplace skills,
allowing people to learn practical skills,
ranging from woodcraft to customer
service, and from bookkeeping to
banking. Skills such as these can only
serve to develop the confidence of our
adults, which we couple with interview
training to ensure they are prepared to
the best of their ability.
Giving those we support a chance to
look to the future is a fundamental
part of our ethos, and we work to
ensure that each and every person
we support within our employment
programme has a fully developed
CV so that they might apply for
employment. Learning skills such
as these can make a fundamental
difference to the lives of those we
work with.
We have recently applied for planning
permission to extend the premises of
our offices/activity centre. Formerly a
dental surgery, and even a night club,
we hope to further transform the
space, and with it the lives of those
we support. We have an activity room
and a training kitchen. We will be able
to now offer educational and social
activities; this will further develop the
life skills of those we support. One
of the activities we have is hosting a
regular afternoon tea, which is made
by a young woman we support; it
is a social drop-in which serves to
provide company for those who are
lonely in our community. We believe
that events such as these are all about
empowering the children and adults
we work with, offering a sense of
independence they might otherwise
bewithout.
Giving those we support
a chance to look to the
future is a fundamental
part of our ethos
The people we
support have
access to a
range of
experiences...
the sense of
self-worth and
motivation
created
through
meeting goals
in
incomparable
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | MY SUPPORT AND CARE SERVICES (WEST COUNTRY) LTD
In line with this, the people we
support with have access to a range of
experiences, and in the coming year,
we are even visiting Borneo to work
with orangutans. We set goals which
encourage people to aim higher, while
also ensuring they can be achieved.
The sense of self-worth and motivation
created through meeting goals is
incomparable in our experience.
One of the biggest obstacles we face
is employment for the adults we work
with. There is a lack of funding within
the system to provide the support
needed; most have support to meet
only their basic needs, but emotional,
social and occupational needs are far
too often not met due to insufficient
funding, so such needs are so often
overlooked. As an aspect of our
work, we have a charity – Creative
Opportunities for Independence.
We have a shop which supports the
development of workplace skills,
allowing people to learn practical skills,
ranging from woodcraft to customer
service, and from bookkeeping to
banking. Skills such as these can only
serve to develop the confidence of our
adults, which we couple with interview
training to ensure they are prepared to
the best of their ability.
Giving those we support a chance to
look to the future is a fundamental
part of our ethos, and we work to
ensure that each and every person
we support within our employment
programme has a fully developed
CV so that they might apply for
employment. Learning skills such
as these can make a fundamental
difference to the lives of those we
work with.
We have recently applied for planning
permission to extend the premises of
our offices/activity centre. Formerly a
dental surgery, and even a night club,
we hope to further transform the
space, and with it the lives of those
we support. We have an activity room
and a training kitchen. We will be able
to now offer educational and social
activities; this will further develop the
life skills of those we support. One
of the activities we have is hosting a
regular afternoon tea, which is made
by a young woman we support; it
is a social drop-in which serves to
provide company for those who are
lonely in our community. We believe
that events such as these are all about
empowering the children and adults
we work with, offering a sense of
independence they might otherwise
bewithout.
Giving those we support
a chance to look to the
future is a fundamental
part of our ethos
The people we
support have
access to a
range of
experiences...
the sense of
self-worth and
motivation
created
through
meeting goals
in
incomparable
25MY SUPPORT AND CARE SERVICES (WEST COUNTRY) LTD |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
Challenges and cuts
One of the challenges we face is
funding to ensure our children and
adults are offered the support they
need. Cutting the hours of support
people are offered is absolutely to
their detriment. The decrease in
funding on an hourly basis for our
staff indicates that care staff are not
valued in the way they ought to be.
In order to employ and to maintain
the employment of staff, their work
must be recognised financially. This
is coupled with the increases in
minimum wage from the government,
which are not in line with increases in
government funding.
We also find the judicial system is ill-
equipped to deal with those who have
special needs. In conjunction with this,
we have found inadequate responses
to ensuring those we work with and
the community they are part of are
best catered to. As an organisation
who works to provide supported living
for adults with learning difficulties, we
also see issues in providing properties
to rent. We believe that when people
live in supported living, they ought to
have the tenancy in their own right,
and some landlords will not allow for
this. Instead, we are forced to sublet
properties, which both increases
the cost of rent and the quantity of
paperwork required.
Finally, we find that the way in which
applications for benefits are currently
processed is hostile towards those with
special needs. The amount of paperwork
which is required, in addition to the
interviews deemed essential, adds to the
stress of an already complex process.
And for those with communication
or literacy skills that do not meet the
norm, it is nearly impossible to apply
to and manage the benefits system,
often resulting in them needing to pay
a company to do it on their behalf.
Future plans
We are growing rapidly, and with more
and more people requiring support, we
hope to continue to keep up in future.
We are currently working with families
who do not know how to apply for
funding and hope that the coming
years see an increasingly transparent
and user-friendly funding system.
We will continue to inform people of
the resources available and direct them
to the best possible route for them. We
hope that we can continue to perform
our services and meet the expectations
of the children and adults we work with.
We will
continue to
inform people
of the
resources
available and
direct them to
the best
possible route
for them
One of the challenges
we face is funding to
ensure our children and
adults are offered the
support they need

www.mysupportandcareservices.co.uk

This article was sponsored by My Support and Care Services (West Country) Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development