Deafblind UK, the registered charity dedicated to improving the lives of those with dual sensory impairments, is today announcing the launch of two social enterprises to deliver a new level of personalised care and support.
About Me (Care & Support Limited) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deafblind UK that delivers specialist care and support services previously offered by the charity, offering a real alternative to residential care. In addition to targeting those who are deafblind, the new organisation enables people with single sensory impairments to benefit from the bespoke packages of care and support on offer.
This move is partly in response to an increasing number of enquiries to the charity from Local Authorities regarding care for people who are either deaf or blind. It also maximises the skills and training of Deafblind UK’s dedicated workforce, who offer specialist knowledge about sight and hearing impairment alongside deafblindness.
The organisation’s unique range of services is geared towards enabling those with sensory impairments to live in the community, providing the individual with choices about how they want to live. Personalised planning assessments and specially trained communicators empower the individual to make informed choices about which services best suit their needs, from housing support and home visits to a comprehensive CQC registered care service with staff employed by the organisation. About Me also provides dedicated training for social care professionals, as previously provided by the charity.
A separate new organisation, also being launched by Deafblind UK (deadfblind.org.uk), is About Me Brokerage. Partly funded by the Department of Health to help deliver a brokerage service for people with disabilities in the United Kingdom, About Me Brokerage empowers individuals by providing expert advice and support to help them gain control over the delivery of their care plans.
With a professional team offering unrivalled expertise in care, About Me Brokerage also helps its customers to make informed choices about how they want to live. Its wide range of services accommodates every level of care and staff work closely with customers to assess their personal needs and advise on suitable support. In cases where the individual needs to employ someone, About Me Brokerage offers a full human resources service which covers recruitment and CRB checks as well as delivering payroll, conducting reviews and supervising staff using a dedicated staff management systems that will alert the team if any issues arise.
All surplus made by About Me will be reinvested back into the organisaton or gifted back to Deafblind UK, supporting the charity’s provision of information, advice and community services that help tackle the isolation faced by many people with sensory impairments and their carers.
Jeff Skipp, Chief Executive of Deafblind UK and About Me said: “Transferring the management of contracted services from Deafblind UK to About Me has very real advantages to the charity on an operational and funding level and will enable many more people to benefit from the expert services that we offer. It allows both parts of the organisation to focus on the elements of service delivery in which they excel.
“By launching these two new social enterprises, we will be able to reach many new users, whilst extending the range of services offered to provide an even greater level of choice and support for customers and increase opportunities for our staff. By developing more services, About Me will achieve greater economies of scale, delivering efficiency savings to be passed on to customers and Local Authorities alike”.