SW AHSN-Supported Fund Helps Karrek Community Health to Empower Vulnerable People

Karrek Community CIC (Karrek) has received an investment of £50,000 from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund, an impact investment fund focusing on social enterprises in the South West. The £5m Fund is managed by Resonance, which is a national social impact investment company, with investment from the South West Academic Health Science Network and the Access Foundation Growth Fund.

Karrek is a domiciliary care agency providing home care support for vulnerable people across Cornwall.  Its main aim is to ensure that people receive the help they really need to help them in their daily lives – not what others think they need.  This “person centric care” is what makes Karrek stand out in the delivery of support and care – they start with the individual and then design the package around the person. Currently the service offers an “outreach” provision from its main base in St Austell. The investment from the Fund will help them embed hubs in local communities where they will be able to offer a more responsive, effective and efficient service to those needing their help.

Karrek works with people with learning and/or physical disabilities, mental health and/or behavioural challenges, autism and people with certain forms of brain injury. The organisation currently supports twenty individuals with a mixture of care packages, ranging from 2:1, 24/7 support to a small number of set hours per week.  Its vision is to “empower vulnerable people to have greater control over their lives and to enjoy their lives to the full”.  To assist with that aim, the investment from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund will cover the setup costs for the initial hub deployment for the first year. After this, sufficient surplus will be generated within the organisation to see the project to its conclusion. This will increase the impact the organisation can make in several areas including:

  • Providing a better service to their existing clients, given they have more of a local focus;
  • Improving their responsiveness and capacity in the local communities;
  • Increasing their impact on local communities through better integration.

This investment in staff to assist in the development of local office hubs based across Cornwall, follows a successful pilot at Karrek’s Redruth site. The scale up phase will run over three years with four hubs being developed in year one, followed by a roll out of a further four hubs in the following two years. Each hub will have a team leader and four staff members.

Paul Ashton, CEO of Karrek explains why the investment is important: “We are a small ‘not for profit’ company with a positive vision for the future and this investment has come at an important stage in our journey. It will enable us to achieve our goals in a shorter timescale and will lead to an increase in available support for vulnerable people who require personal support. We plan to use this investment with care and enthusiasm as a contribution to improving personal care for the people of Cornwall. We are excited about the next stage in our growth; we really appreciate this opportunity that we have as a result of this investment.”  

Ken is supported by Karrek and he says: “I like the Karrek staff because they help me to live the life I want. My support is agreed with me and I go through my daily notes with the staff to make sure we don’t miss anything important.

“Karrek is important to me because the staff listen to me. I go to the office regularly to speak to the managers about my support and life goals.”

Resonance would like organisations in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to get in touch with ‘big ideas’ that improve the health and well-being of people and could be an effective challenge to the status quo with the right financial backing.

Veryan Young, Resonance’s Investment Manager for the Fund can be contacted via email: veryan.young@resonance.ltd.uk  or telephone: 0345 004 3432

More information can be found at http://resonance.ltd.uk/get-investment/health-wellbeing-challenge-fund-south-west/

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