Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
I think the best way is to share where my working life started and the influence on my values and behaviours throughout my work. At 14 I started to work on Saturdays at the local grocery shop. I learnt from day one the need for great customer service, the reputation of such small local businesses, is a make or break factor. After 8yrs in retail and catering I studied and trained in working with children, young people and families /community work. Charities and LA social care services at all levels of front line, development and project management. Throughout all of these positions I kept the focus of customers at the heart of everything I did. Listening to people and their strengths and the challenges they struggled with.
So yes some people I worked with didn’t feel they had a choice whether to work with me, child protection issues for example meaning they had to make changes. My approach was about not telling or ‘doing’ to people, getting them on board and working through things together and surprisingly (not!) this common sense approach got positive results. I know I am pretty resistant to being told what and how to do things…
Clearly I don’t come from a business background but when I saw the Community Catalysts post I was enthused and excited to the whole ethos and approach. I work with people to set up small businesses to provide support and care to people in the local area with a very bespoke approach. The businesses customers are usually older, those with a disability or additional needs.
The types of services could be literally be anything or everything from gardening, decorating, household admin around bills and finances, companionship, dog walking, decluttering, food, accessing health and fitness classes, interests and hobbies. In fact I usually say let’s look at what we enjoy, what makes our lives more fulfilled and happier, there are bound to be others out there that enjoy the same things.
As your reading this, the other part of my remit is to assist small businesses to diversify. It is about really seeing the opportunities out there to engage with customers that you may not of considered before. Being on the programme we have Do It Right Standards to sign up to, we work through these and then when completed I assist with connecting to the customers. This is via health and social care teams and using our national evidenced approaches to finding them, although I would suggest that your already very good at those local connections.
We not only want people to be offering person centered services locally for local people we want everyone to be sustainable throughout all possible eventualities, such as the pandemic.
Website links to have at look for more information and do feel free to message me with questions or share away…https://www.communitycatalysts.co.uk/
Thank you for reading and wishing you a great rest of your day ahead.. Anita