Independent care and support providers get together in West Somerset

Over a dozen would-be care providers came together last week for advice and support about how to set up and launch their independent enterprises.

The event, hosted by Community Catalysts in partnership with Somerset County Council, was part of the Micro-enterprise project, an initiative aimed at harnessing the talents and imagination of local people to create more options locally for older people who require care and support.

Held at the Sanctuary in Watchet the event was aimed at the small-scale, independent care sector and attracted 16 potential care providers. New, existing and potential providers of home care, home help and community services came together to share information, network, and receive support to develop their ideas or enterprise.

Project co-ordinator Rhys Davies from Community Catalyst, said: “It was amazing to see the energy in the room. Lots of micro-providers are often isolated and operate under the radar of traditional services so bringing people together with a shared interest was so valuable.”

William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adults Services at Somerset County Council, said: “It is great to see this project having an impact in West Somerset. We want local people to have more choice when it comes to who provides their care and support. This project will help create a range of different, creative and non-traditional services in local areas. The project provides support, advice and guidance to help independent providers set up and make sure they are operating responsibly.”

Alongside networking, the event gave providers information on funding options, business support, accessing DBS checks and the opportunity to sign up to the newly launched Somerset Choices website.

The Micro-enterprise project offers free support and information to anyone interested in setting up a small (micro), local, care or support service. To find out more please contact Rhys Davies on 07595411945 or