Hope for new home help service

VAA is leading the way in the foundation of a new social enterprise company to deliver home help services.
VAA is leading the way in the foundation of a new social enterprise company to deliver home help services.

Home help services in Angus could be secured with the establishment of a new social enterprise to fill the current care gap.

The new development is being led by Voluntary Action Angus (VAA) which hopes to form an employee-controlled company and hand over its running to those delivering its services.

Angus Council cut funding for its home help service in this year’s budget and Gary Malone, VAA chief executive, said the organisation is continuing to work with the local authority to deliver a much-needed service.

He said: “This is more than a cleaning company. This is about building trusting relationships through home care services, which will also open up opportunities for recipients to access befriending, volunteer driving and other voluntary run services.

“Clearly the current culture and strategic ambition for care is around prevention and localness. In essence this means there is a significant role for social enterprise and it requires new relationships between the voluntary sector, communities, NHS and the local authority.

“In Angus we have made significant progress in health and social care integration and the social enterprise and voluntary sectors will play a critical role in new approaches towards care. This is an exciting opportunity but we will need the support of other partners to make this happen.”

Mr Malone said that the new company will be able to do more based on the needs of its service users which he says is essential.

He added: “Any surplus made will go back into the social good and purposes of the new company. We’ve got a lot to do over a short period of time and it’s essential that a home based service is available to people who need it. I am looking forward to continuing to work positively with Angus Council, staff and recipients of the service who may be interested in the new company.”

An open meeting to discuss the service’s development will be held in Forfar today (Thursday) at VAA, 1-3 St James Road, from 2pm-3pm and tomorrow at 32-34 Guthrie Port, Arbroath, at the same time 2-3pm.

Transport will be made available for those who require it and further information is available by calling 01241 875525 or 01307 466113 or by e-mailing gary@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk or ashley@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk.