Thanks to Keir and the SEND (Special educational needs and disability) team at West Sussex County Council for shining the spotlight on Kingsway Care in their August issue of West Sussex Local Offer. Find out how we can help young adults with disabilities here or read the transcript below.
Kingsway Care Service Spotlight
This month’s spotlight is a conversation with Kingsway Care and some of their staff. I spoke to Olly (Managing Director), Tilly (Head of People & Culture), and Katy (Disability Champion) who gave me an introduction to Kingsway Care. Have a look below to find out about all the great work they do, as well as some of their plans for the future.
What does Kingsway Care do?
Olly, Managing Director
Kingsway Care’s mission is to ‘enable independent living’, this is our motto. It’s on the side of our cars, website, and all client communications. Of course, independent living means different things for different people.
Our Clients can range in age from 19 to 102, which is quite incredible and everyone has slightly different requirements. Some need personal care to get them up and ready for the start or end of the day, or help to take the right medications, and support with meal preparation to look after their well-being.
But there is so much more we can do, such as companionship, activities, events, support with household chores, and garden maintenance. We have hand-picked a team of friendly, DBS checked hairdressers, beauticians, gardeners – anything I could think of really to support our clients.
Tilly, Head of People & Culture
We really are looking to do something different that goes beyond what I would say is traditional care. So, things like our community hub, Kingsway Coffee, help us to bring our clients together and get them into the community, making their lives more enjoyable.
Kingsway Care really involves Clients and CareGivers to create a family and unity to help make us all feel special. Our CareGivers work hard to find out what our Clients’ passions are and then we tailor our services to suit them.
Katy, Disability Champion
It’s really important for people to feel wanted and that they have someone to talk to and have activities to do. Too many people can be stuck in their homes. I go carriage driving once a week in Horsham and I like to make the most of my time by being around people.
Some people in care homes don’t get the opportunity to do this. Also, for young people, it’s important for them to be in the community and see that sometimes there is more to life than being with mum and dad, or just going to college.
How long has Kingsway Care been running?
Tilly: Olly started up Kingsway Care in August 2020 (right in the middle of the pandemic!), and we got our CQC license back in January 2021 so have been a fully-fledged care provider for the last seven months.
How did you become a disability champion for Kingsway Care, Katy?
Katy: About 3 or 4 months ago I was looking for a new care provider as I was struggling with who I was with. When Kingsway started doing my care, Olly saw more potential in me than just being a care Client. He has seen the youth work I have done with Young Voices and could see what I wanted to achieve in my own way.
How does your service help people?
Katy: I can give an example of something I did the other day. I wrote a piece about some of the activities I enjoy which one of the care receivers at Kingsway Care, who is 78 years old, read and we spoke about it. They said it had inspired them to have a go at it themselves.
Local Offer Officer: And that’s a key part of what you do as the disability champion? Sharing your experiences with others to help them see that they can do things as well.
Katy: Exactly, that is what we are really trying hard to achieve.
Olly: I can also give another example of Tilly and Katy’s great work. They are going to start a Boccia club now that we are all able to meet in person again. We are going to be hosting events next door to Kingsway Coffee, at the King Alfred Leisure Centre. People can then come back for tea and cakes and have a community get-together.
What is the most important thing you have learned from working in the SEND community.
Katy: The most important thing I have learned is to treat people how you want to be treated. I have had carers in the past who have been too focused on the money they earn, and don’t think about the human they are caring for. This is wrong and it should be more about the person than the money and this is what Kingsway Care is about.
Tilly: For me working in care shows what it means to be human, and when I work with certain people it really helps to remind me what matters in life. Smiles, joy, passion, family, friends, all the things that truly matter shine and it is a privilege to see it.
How can people find out more about Kingsway Care?
Olly: Our website has a news and stories section as well as our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo. We encourage our Clients and Caregivers to share stories from their day to help show the human side of what we do and how we make a positive difference in our Clients’ lives.
Local Offer Officer: and of course, you have a Local Offer Service Card people can view.