Growing success for Helping Hands

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A BUSINESS launched at the beginning of this year to provide care to children and young adults has already had to expand its operating area following demand for its services.

Helping Hands of Harrogate Ltd was founded in January by husband and wife Chris and Rebecca Blunstone to fill a gap in the market that Chris had spotted through his work with families at a children’s hospice.

The business began by covering the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon area, but, due to demand, had to launch a team in Selby and is currently building another one in the Bedale, Thirsk and Northallerton area.

“We are just inundated with referrals and can’t seem to keep up with demand, which is quite a shock for us,” said Chris.

“I think we are just doing things right and doing what the families have asked us to do. We did a lot of research before we set it up and all we’ve basically done is put in place what the parents and young people have asked for.”

The business, which is run from the couple’s home in Dacre, specialises in providing care for children, young people and young adults with a range of disabilities, learning and behavioural needs, complex care needs and medical needs.

It employs a care team of 30 people with a wide range of experience from mental health nursing to occupational therapy and Chris said they are still looking for more members of staff as the business continues its growth.

Ahead of its launch, Helping Hands was approved as Care Providers with The Care Quality Commission. It is a registered provider of care with North Yorkshire County Council and the NHS North Yorkshire and York.

The business also provides care to families who use the ‘direct payment scheme’ which enables families to arrange their own care and services and for those who wish to live independently.

As the company’s care manager, Chris works alongside the team both in the office and the field to ensure standards are kept high.

He has nine years’ experience of working as a care team member in a multidisciplinary team at a local children’s hospice, and has acquired knowledge, skills and expertise in a wide range of conditions including Battens Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other degenerative or life limiting conditions.

Training manager Carol Sykes has 30 years of nursing experience. A registered nurse and registered sick children’s nurse, she has worked predominantly in children’s nursing for most of her career but spent some time working as a community nurse caring for young people and adults.

She was instrumental in setting up the first children’s community nursing service in West Yorkshire, providing care and support for children, young people and their families in their own homes.

Part of her role was to develop and implement training and care packages for families and carers at home.

“We have had an overwhelming response to the business,” added Rebecca.

“As a couple with young children ourselves, Chris and I have a passion to provide the standard of care and support we would expect for our own children.”

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