Laura Wild talks to the staff at Community Life Choices on Preston Dock, who offer health and social care in the community
Community Life Choices has welcomed a host of newcomers to the team over the past year.
And with a recruitment drive well under way, the company is looking forward to expanding its reach, giving more individuals the opportunity to access personalised care.
Alan Frew, 35, managing director at Community Life Choices has more than 12 years’ experience working in a health and social care environment and aims to keep the business focused around a friendly and people-orientated approach.
“At Community Life Choices we provide personal assistants, advice and financial management services for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and conditions, but what we do differently is provide a service that is perfectly matched to the individual.
“The people we help are often vulnerable and unsure how to access social care services, so we are always available to meet with individuals and their families to offer a solution and professional level of support.
“There are six staff members working from our headquarters in Preston, with more than 40 personal assistants who are often out and about so it helps that we have regular catch-ups to maintain our team spirit.
“In the office we like to make light of things where possible and always have a sense of humour.
“This is always a must when you are providing care services as it can be an intimate process so you need to be able to make the individual feel comfortable.”
Chantel O’Reilly, 29, is CLC’s support services assistant and has been with the company since June 2013.
She said: “Although we are a small company, we have a huge work ethic and like to go the extra mile to make sure we can meet the outcomes for the individual. Whether that means supporting them in their home, or giving them the confidence boost they need to go outdoors, we always love a challenge. It’s very satisfying to see an individual that is really happy with the progress they are making.”
The latest recruit, Stephen Orme, 49, has joined the company as children and families support advisor and will be responsible for direct care provision between children and families as well as growing the business across the North West.
“In my personal and voluntary life I have worked with autistic children so gaining a position at CLC is really exciting and something I’ve always wanted to do.
“The team is really motivated and committed to what they do and Alan is very approachable, especially as he has an open door policy. Working in this industry can be stressful like any other, but they work on the basis that everyone is in it together which is great to be a part of.”
Maria Scullion, 41, support services manager has been working for CLC since day one and covers everything from the recruitment of personal assistants to organising the team social calendar.
“I’ve always been passionate about people and I think it really helps if you have good personal skills and find it easy to interact with people at all levels.
“Our team are a really great bunch and work really hard to ensure that people in need of care and support can make their own decisions and live an independent life.
“We don’t always get the time to socialise as a team as we are busy supporting others and as we love what we do it doesn’t feel like work. But we do probably need to update our social calendar a little more frequently!
“We are currently on the lookout for keen and talented personal assistants and part of my job is to find dedicated individuals who can work reactively, show a good sense of humour and bring something to the team.
“It takes a special kind of person to do what we do; each person we care for is supported in a different way depending on their needs. But when you’ve helped an individual to achieve something or supported them through a particularly difficult time, the feeling you get is always worth it at the end.”