Caring Hands Wellbeing Team

Helen Smith – Community Circles Connector

One of our latest Community Circles partnerships is with a homecare provider; Caring Hands. Caring Hands see a different way of providing home care and wanted to work with Community Circles and Helen Sanderson Associates to achieve this.

The starting point was to recruit a whole new team of Wellbeing Workers to create a team with a difference. The team will be a self-managing team where the Wellbeing Workers share the role of meeting new people looking for homecare and working out their package of care together along with how best to deliver this care. The first meetings with people will be finding out what is important to them, who are the people in their lives as well as what support they need. The conversation may include the person’s dreams for the future, or thinking about things they wish they could do, if only they had the right support. With each member of the team being involved in this process, it means that they will be meeting people right from the beginning and getting to know them and understand well what will make great support.

In order to recruit a team which is different to more traditional approaches to home care, the recruitment needed to be done differently. Recruitment did not include the usual application by CV followed by a half hour interview. Instead, there was an advert asking for expressions of interest in the Wellbeing Worker roles. Then Geraldine; the Care Manager; had a 15-minute phone call to each interested person and those people remaining were asked to confirm by phone that they were able to attend an assessment day in August.

The assessment day rimagean from 10am – 2.30pm with each candidate attending for the full time and working as a team. The purpose of the day way to enable us to get to know people and decide if they were the right person for the team and also for candidates to find out if this is the kind of way that they want to work and if they felt that the job was right for them.

The day included team activities whereby each group had to build a tower out of spaghetti! The candidates also used their conversational skills, answered questions around values and brought a contribution towards a bring and share lunch. Part of the day included following instructions to give a hand massage. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end!


So where do Community Circles fit in to all of this?

Rather than being seen as a nice add on, Community Circles are part of this well being team right from the beginning. As the introductory conversations are taking place, the Wellbeing Workers will be getting ideas about how a Community Circle could support the individual. At the 6-week review of the service being set up, each individual will identify the purpose of their Community Circle. There will be certain things for which a person needs paid support. However, we expect that there will also be many things in a person’s life that they will be able to achieve through having a Community Circle.  We have shared the stories of Mary who re-joined her faith community, Arthur who wanted to do some DIY and May who had a passion for singing and through her circle joined a community choir. These are such simple things and a Community Circle can connect people with others through shared passions and shared experiences. These connections in turn impact massively on people’s happiness, reduction in loneliness and an increase in overall well-being.

And that is why the Well Being Team which includes a Community Circles Connector, can provide more than just a basic package of care, but a holistic increase in a person’s well-being.