The innovation of a new social enterprise company providing home help services in Angus has been praised by Scottish minister Shona Robison.
Ms Robison was speaking at the formal launch of the scheme on Friday at Voluntary Action Angus’s (VAA) Forfar offices.
She was told how efforts to create a new approach to health and social care and the work of VAAngus had empowered workers and provided better services.
She said: “Care About Angus is an example of the vital role that the voluntary sector will play as we press ahead with the integration of health and social care.
“This innovative, employee-led organisation providing vital local services, and drawing on the resources and energy of local communities, shows the real potential of partnership to deliver new models of care and support.”
Care About Angus was started last November after Angus Council axed its home help service as part of its 2015 budget. The company aims to do more based on the needs of its service users and any surplus generated will be ploughed back into its services.
Charles Goodall, director, said: “What we have here in Angus is one of the best examples of partnership working, innovation and entrepreneurship supported by the Scottish Government, local authority and NHS Tayside in transforming care in Angus.
“Much has been made of the challenges facing service delivery given financial pressures, but here we have an excellent example of redefining and improving care where the third sector and social enterprise sector play a crucial and valuable role.
“Feedback from both customers and staff asserts that the new service is very well received and workers are enjoying their new roles.”
Ashley McGregor, one of the driving forces behind the scheme, said that that working for the company is “truly inspirational”.
She continued: “Initially we were faced with anxieties from staff and people affected by change in services. The help from local GPs, NHS and Angus Council was excellent and gave us confidence, we took a chance and here we are today.
“What’s most encouraging is that people receiving our service are always getting back to us saying how brilliant it is and how, by offering additional support through volunteer driving and befriending their well-being has improved.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about Care About Angus or who is interested in developing social enterprises in Angus can get in touch with Ashley by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01241 439555 or 01307 466113.