A young company set up by care workers who decided to go it alone is celebrating its first birthday by taking on more staff.
Cheviot Care Ltd was set up by three former local authority workers last year in Wooler after Northumberland County Council outsourced care.
“We decided that rather than work for a company which could send us to different places each day, we wanted to continue looking after our local elderly people in Wooler who we’d got to know,” said Marie Purvis, who set up the company with Judith Stanwix and Carol Nesbit.
“We thought it was important that elderly people knew who was caring for them and saw the same faces day after day – particularly as we provide personal services such as washing and dressing people and helping them in and out of bed.”
It’s a philosophy that has paid off.
Word-of-mouth recommendations spread and their original small number of clients has quadrupled to more than 30. They are now taking on an extra trained carer to help with the workload.
Marie said: “Learning how to run a business and keeping our care qualifications up to date as well as working long hours was hard initially.
“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve had from Northumberland County Council’s social and business enterprise manager, Tony Kirsop, and we really appreciate the confidence that our clients had in us at the beginning – they put their faith in us,” said Marie
The team is now registered with the Quality Care Commission, which monitors all care providers, and is on the county council’s Spot Providers list which means they can be contracted to carry out work on behalf of the local authority.
One of the spin-offs of Cheviot Care’s success is that it creates business for other local enterprises such as Seahouses Accountancy, based in the village’s Resource Centre, which covers their tax and accounting.