Help for small care and support services in Somerset

Somerset County Council has launched an exciting new project to offer free advice and support to small care and support services in the county in a bid to give people more choice over their care.

The two year project, commissioned by Somerset County Council and delivered by Community Catalysts, will offer information, advice, and support to local people who wish to set up small creative groups or services.

William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adults Services at Somerset County Council, said: “This is an exciting project that will create more small care and support providers in Somerset.

“We want people to have more control over their care and we are encouraging people to have their care payments direct so they can purchase the services they want. But we recognise that this will only work if there is a range of different, creative and non-traditional services available in their local area. This project aims to make this happen by helping people set up or grow their care and support service.”

A small scale care and support provider, also known as a micro-enterprise, can cover a broad range of services, covering anything from transport, leisure and befriending to help in the home, accessing employment and going on holiday.

The project, called the Micro-Enterprise project, will supply practical information on everything from regulation to training and sources of funding. It will also offer support, feedback, advice and signposting to organisations that can help.

As well as assisting new enterprises, the project will work with existing small support providers to ensure they thrive, deliver great services and increase the choice available to people.

Rhys Davies, project co-ordinator at Community Catalysts, said: “I am really excited about the potential of this project for Somerset. It is great to meet passionate local people who know what services are needed and have the drive to make it happen and make real difference in their communities”

“There are already some quirky and original small enterprises operating that offer something a bit different. From meals on wheels right through to an accessible sports club, it is great to work with the creativity of communities to help turn their ideas into sustainable high quality services, which offer real choice to those needing care and support”.

If you are interested in setting up, or are already running a group or service which is local, independent and has less than five employees or volunteers please contact Rhys on 07595 411 945 or by email: rhys.davies@communitycatalysts.co.uk