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Newsletter 5 March 2013

• Unveiling the beautiful artwork at our new Head Office • Helping our sensory service customers flourish • Getting to know Liz Chidgey, our new Managing Director • Community Support Provider of the Year Award finalists • Supporting inclusive communication for everyone • Supporting customers in their transition from children’s into adult’s services

New lead at the helm of Essex Cares I formally started with Essex Cares on Monday 4th March and in a few short days I feel I’m getting to understand the organisation and of course seeing it from an entirely different perspective from my formal role as commissioner and Acting Executive Director for Adult Social Care at Essex County Council.

The industry faces many challenges particularly around the continued integration of health and social care; it is without a doubt an exciting time for the industry. I’m looking forward to playing a lead role in Essex Care’s future journey.

Plans are already in place for me to visit all our services across Essex and West Sussex and I’m eager to meet all the staff that deliver support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society enabling and changing peoples’ lives on a daily basis. Essex Cares has seen significant change since its formation in 2009; many landmarks have been reached, notably in recent months, the first contract award out of county with the Regaining Independence Service in West Sussex and the award of ISO 9001 Quality Standard. We recently heard the good news that we have been shortlisted for a national award for our Community Support Services and 0800 035 9770

you can read more about that later in the newsletter.

Liz Chidgey Managing Director

Essex Cares Newsletter March 2013

Beautiful artwork unveiled at our official head office opening In February Essex Cares officially opened Victoria House with a drop-in day welcoming staff, customers and partner organisations to come and look around. Unveiled on the day were some tremendous pieces of artwork created by customers and staff from a number of our centres across the county. Each individual frame is shaped as a jigsaw piece and the collection of artwork can be displayed as a group or individually. Together they represent a cross section of services, seen through the eyes of our customers. Guests were also offered a buffet lunch with thanks to our Work Based Training team at Barley Twist café in Basildon. Already the new office is reaping many benefits which come from the organisation’s support functions being able to work more closely together. We look forward to welcoming you here soon.

Question Time with Liz Chidgey As you have read earlier in the newsletter, Liz Chidgey joined Essex Cares in her new role at Managing Director on 4th March. Here is just a snippet of an interview with Liz, please visit our website where you can read it in full:

Why do you want to work with Essex Cares? The time is right, both in terms of my career development, and the current position of Essex Cares in the market. This is a good opportunity for me to use the skills that I have acquired in my many years working in adult social care to develop Essex Cares. It is a period of tremendous change in the public sector, and it is appropriate to consider how vehicles like Essex Cares can support the increasing requirements that the future presents, the agenda is challenging, and the opportunity for Essex Cares is significant. I am pleased to play a part in the future of Essex Cares.

What are the key skills you bring to the role? I like to facilitate collaborative working; drawing the right skills together from across the organisation as well as

utilising external resources. Of course, I bring table a great deal of knowledge and experience fro career to date. Ultimately, I am accountable f delivery of service and development of the company take this responsibility very seriously.

What do you hope for Essex Cares to achie your first 12 months in post?

The primary aim is to reposition Essex Cares s external awareness is increased, and that there strong understanding of the company’s ability to high quality services. This is of course important shareholder Essex County Council. Essex Cares ne be positioned to have the capacity to cope with e services, as well as having the ability to potentially beyond the current offering. This of course extends as Cares delivers services outside of Essex, currently to Sussex County Council and in time to other local auth across the country. Equally important, is the need to inc the general publics’ awareness of Essex Cares, s there is greater knowledge of the services provided a support available to individuals.

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Essex Cares Newsletter March 2013

Terri flourishes with the support of our Sensory team Essex Cares has been supporting Terri with orientation and mobility training for 18 months. Terri’s was born with sight but over time this has deteriorated and she now is registered blind. When her guide dog sadly passed away Terri was eager to build up her long cane orientation skills again which she had lost over years of reliance on her guide dogs and support from her children. Following a mobility assessment, our dedicated team designed a programme specific to Terri, who wanted to be confident in getting to and from Colchester town centre and around her local community. The team began by segmenting the journey into bite-sized sections and building up Terri’s knowledge of the environment through the use of recognisable obstacles and sounds. The full journey was pieced together over time until she was confident in making the full route with support. Support was then safely reduced and Terri is now confident in making trips into Colchester to meet her daughter.

The ultimate aim is for Essex Cares to be referred to, as the first point of contact for social and increasingly health care requirements. As a result, there is a need for the company to have a strong, flexible workforce, so that it is able to adapt to the changing needs.

eve in What do you see as the organisations biggest asset?

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The quality and the skill of the workforce are incredibly important, combined with the strong brand presence.

What was your involvement at the start of Essex Cares? I was involved with the project that led to the creation of Essex Cares; in fact I put forward the proposition to Cabinet Members which led to the establishment of the country’s first LATC in adult social care. It has been very interesting to watch the company grow and develop during its first three and a half years of trading and I look forward to being part of the team.

“Essex Cares saved my sanity – I can now use public transport and go out every day.”

Shortlisted finalist for Community Support Provider of the Year Essex Cares recently had the great news that we have been shortlisted as one of four finalists for Community Support Provider of the Year in the HealthInvestor Awards 2013. Other finalists for this award in the social care category are Aspirations Care, Gray Healthcare and Maria Mallaband Care Group. The winners will be announced at the awards event on 12th June.

Inclusive Communication Essex The Inclusive Communication Sharing Day held last month in Chelmsford at the Marconi Sports Club brought together parents, carers, families and professionals working with people with learning disabilities. It provided an opportunity to share experiences and knowledge of supporting and making communication more inclusive and personalised. The displays, ranging from children’s toys and sensory objects, to the most up to date assistive technology, offered some very effective and inspirational solutions. Essex Cares is passionate about inclusive communication and presented examples of the work already being undertaken in our Wellbeing & Activity Centres where customers are involved in putting together their communication passports and “all about me” folders. Examples of “smelly vision” were also demonstrated which have been developed to assist customers with selecting their choices of food and drink. The catering for the event was provided by two of our Work Based Training teams, Barley Twist in Basildon and Greenacre in Chelmford.

Transition Pathway Services Event

West Sussex News

What a great start to the year for both our Work Based Training & Social Enterprise and Wellbeing & Activity Centre teams. They attended transition events held at Colchester Football Club on 2nd February 2013 and at Wickford Collaborative Learning Centre on 21st February.

Matthew Anstee-Brown joined Essex Cares as Regaining Independence Service Manager in West Sussex in January. Shortly after the team moved into a new office: Barclay’s House, Horsham.

The events were organised by Essex County Council’s Transition Pathway Service and aimed to guide parents and carers through the wide range of services available to children who are progressing into adult services. The events were attended by over 150 people. Essex Cares answered questions about the range of services on offer and supported with common queries about how customers are able to access and be referred into our services.

We recently held several recruitment days across the county for people looking to start a career in social care. If you missed them but would like to find out more about jobs that we currently have available, please visit the careers section on our website. LMC21 Version 1

Essex Cares Limited Victoria House Victoria Road Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JR 0800 035 9770

Essex Cares External Newsletter March 2013  

All the very latest news from Essex Cares