Seven figure funding allows Lancashire care group to open new site

A Lancashire care company has as opened a new residential care home thanks to seven-figure funding from Unity Trust Bank.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Gillian Ashcroft, director of Exceptional Care Limited, which is based in Ormskirk, has added Cedar House in Leyland to her portfolio, alongside properties in the Southport, Lathom, Rainford, Skelmersdale and Tarleton.

The company, which provides safe environments for young people requiring long-term care as well as short term adventure service placements, manages six Ofsted-regulated homes and has a further two going through the registration process.

The Exceptional Care group employs more than 170 people and Cedar House has created 10 new jobs, as well as four additional bed spaces.

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Unity Trust Bank Relationship Manager Michael Wicks, right, with Exceptional Care Limited Owner and Director Gillian Ashcroft

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Gillian said: “Our properties provide safe, homely environments for young people who need support. They are well-maintained and decorated to the same high standards that I would have in my own family home.

“I have had lots of businesses over the years, but they sometimes left me feeling empty. I set up Exceptional Care in 2014 because I wanted to do something that would make a difference and have an impact.

“I wanted an outcome, and there’s no better feeling than when a young person tells me that we have helped to change their life for the better.”

Unity Trust Bank Relationship Manager Michael Wicks with the team at Exceptional Care Limited

In 2018 Gillian also set up Sky Recruitment and Care Services Ltd, a specialist care recruitment agency, and Think Tank Academy Ltd, the UK’s first accredited training and qualifications provider in health and social care which also holds monthly webinars with key partners to raise awareness of the issues affecting the sector.

Gillian said: “I chose to bank with Unity because of my relationship manager Michael Wicks. Michael saw the vision I had and was passionate about it.

“Unity ticks a lot of boxes for me. We have the same ethos and outlook; theirs is a corporate one and mine is a personal one but we’re both on the same page.

“We’re doing business in the right way, in the right sector. Unity’s funding is helping my business to grow, and this is having a direct impact on young people.”

Local authorities from all over the country refer young people to Exceptional Care, some from as far afield as Scotland and the Ise of Man, and all the homes are rated either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Michael Wicks, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “There is huge demand for Ofsted-regulated accommodation for young people and rightly so.

“At Unity we support organisations that deliver a real and lasting benefit to local communities and Gillian and her team are doing just that; providing the best possible support for young people and boosting the economy through the creation of jobs.”