Knutsford’s Amanda Stoneham, has created a wonderful new workforce and provided over 50 jobs for individuals whose careers have been seriously impacted by the virus via her company, Compassionate Care Group.
The award-winning local care company, which is still recruiting in the area, has also pioneered new and improved ways of working during the current crisis, which it hopes will transform the future of social care.
Established in 2010 by Amanda, who has lived in Knutsford with her family for the last four years, Compassionate Care is based on Mill Lane in Ashley and provides personal care and companionship services to citizens across Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
An established service provider, with a high-quality offering, Compassionate Care has grown organically over the last decade since Amanda started out as a one-man-band, offering low-level support to private customers in Cheshire.
Compassionate Care is run by Amanda and her husband Graham. Their eldest daughter also works in the office, making it a real family firm.
The company, which won a North West Family Business Award for the People’s Choice of Cheshire just before lockdown started, now reaches more than 150 vulnerable adults in their own homes and supported living in Knutsford and other local towns such as Hale, Altrincham, Sale, Timperley, Flixton and Urmston.
Talking about the global pandemic, Amanda comments: “None of us have ever faced a pandemic of this magnitude and severity.
This unique crisis evolved very quickly, and we had to decide how best to approach it to keep customers and staff safe and ensure that the company would survive the storm.
Trafford Council approached us and asked how we would feel about creating a Rapid Homecare service to support people of the borough to get home from hospital safely.
Never the shrinking violet, we readily accepted the challenge and began to look at how we could put together a team of care workers, safely but rapidly.
To date we have enabled 62 clients to be safely discharged from hospital and return to their own homes under the Rapid Homecare pilot.”
Partnering with Harri.com, a talent technology company predominantly focused on the hospitality sector, an area hard hit by the lockdown, Compassionate Care was able to reach a wide group of individuals seeking employment in new sectors.
Amanda explains: “Very quickly we received a high number of applications from cabin crew, restaurant workers and bar staff across Cheshire and Trafford; individuals with transferable skills who, pre-pandemic, would never have considered a career in social care.
“We’ve had to move fast, have a solution-focused approach and change some of our systems entirely,” said Amanda.
“So far, there are five people who have come though the service that have now reached their ‘pre-hospital’ ability, do not need a long-term package of care, and are carrying on with life as normal, albeit a new kind of normal.
“We’ve had several other people who’ve transferred onto our normal homecare service, as living without some form of support was not an option. In terms of the team out in the field delivering support, I firmly believe that we’ve created some of the social care stars of the future.”
One new worker said: “I can’t tell you how exhausted but happy I am when I go home at night, just knowing I have made that person’s life a little better.”
Although Compassionate Care is already on the Cheshire East Framework for supported living, it is keen to extend its homecare area across the authority, using Trafford as its model: “Our service has numerous benefits, regardless of location.
“Knutsford residents generally have very high standards and this matches our ethos perfectly at Compassionate Care.
“There is also an ageing population which may be shielding or isolated from family members at this critical time and for many, we are their surrogate family,” added Amanda.
“COVID 19 has met its match in Compassionate Care. This Herculean task has been so rewarding for us; it’s helped us sustain our business and more importantly, it’s enabled people to return to their homes safely, at what is proving to be a very difficult time.
“It’s also created an army of new care workers, who will hopefully continue working in this rewarding area, post-pandemic.
“We believe that we could very well have created a new model of care and support that can help the NHS with the rapid and safe discharge of patients from hospital and I firmly believe that this is the future of homecare.
“The pressures on the social care sector are immense, with providers fighting to stay alive and not just because of the pandemic.”
Compassionate Care is still actively recruiting both care workers and office staff and would welcome applications from Knutsford residents, as well as other individuals from across Cheshire East.
“Knutsford is a close-knit community, which is why my family and I love living here so much and I am certain that people here are already rallying around for those most vulnerable, so why not join our team and make a career out of it?”
Compassionate Care Group
Compassionate Care Group was founded in 2010 by Amanda Stoneham.
Based in Ashley, Cheshire, the company provides high-quality personal care services across Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
The company has grown organically over the last decade and now reaches over 150 individuals in either their own homes or supported living. In 2020 Compassionate Care received a prestigious North West Family Business Award for the People’s Choice of Cheshire.
Throughout the global pandemic, the company has partnered with Trafford Council to create a Rapid Homecare service to help people get home from hospital safely. It has also created new jobs for workers in industries that have been severely affected by the crisis.