A home care provider based in Hampshire has highlighted the success of its Beautiful Minds programme in supporting the wellbeing of its staff.
In-Home Care, which is located in Horndean and operates six franchises across the south of England, launched the internal support programme 18 months ago to offer carers and management staff a safe environment to discuss their emotional wellbeing.
The programme was established by the company’s Care Assessor and BEAUtiful Minds champion, Beau Pillinger, hence the name, and any staff member can contact her to discuss issues that causing them to feel distressed in a confidential, informal setting.
Staff can arrange a session to discuss the effect their issue is having on them and then put in place strategies to overcome and alleviate them.
Claire Simmons and Paul Reynolds, founders and directors of In-Home Care, said: “By opening the door to dialogue and conversation about their mental wellbeing, we believe we are able to truly understand how our carers are feeling in these uncertain times, and to support them in critical day-to-day responsibilities.”
The founders went onto say that the programme has been a “tremendous success”, widely supported by the whole business, and has played an integral part in challenging mental health stigma.
Beau’s support has helped improved the lives of carers who live with family members or partners with addictions, for example.
“Due to my own experience in life of living with people with addictions, my support has been vastly beneficial to some carers,” she said.
“Being able to share my thoughts and feelings has helped them realise they are not alone in the way they feel. It has given them the boost they need to push forward with their lives, look after themselves and not bear the burden of blame.”
Beau has also supported a carer with low mood and very little support in her life.
“We would meet fortnightly or weekly, sometimes just monthly to have a chat. The time scale was left entirely at her will. She greatly benefitted from having a friendly ear to bend once in a while, and I would remind her that she has to contain her low moods and not let it impact her daily working life. Just having a friend that she could speak openly to was very beneficial to her,” the BEAUtiful minds champion added.
Commenting on the idea behind the programme, Claire Simmons and Paul Reynolds said: “When we started our business in 2011, we were absolutely determined that without really happy, fulfilled and supported carers and staff, we would never grow, because growth is the fruit and reward for excellence. Adding between four and five franchise businesses a year to our wider business is testament to that.”
The founders said that care workers have long been dedicated professionals, helping those requiring support, but it’s important not forget that that care staff face their own challenges, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
“Without resilient and supported carers it is the most vulnerable that are at risk being of let down the most, and that clearly is unacceptable. Happy, supported carers, meanwhile, translates directly into safe, happy customers and their families and loved ones too,” said Claire and Paul.