The founder of the Care Umbrella, Sarah Jones, agrees that establishing a new venture during such a globally challenging time is a risky undertaking. However, Sarah also recognises how the current crisis has hindered the search for relevant care information. For both the care consumer and care provider.
As consumer expectations for fast, accessible and credible information grows, all care services have a duty to ensure that they meet those needs. Providing trusted and reliable resources is vital in supporting care users on their journies. Particularly as care users often seek information during periods of their lives when they’re at their most distressed or vulnerable.
Making Connections. Delivering Choice
By bringing together each sector of the UK care industry and the trades and services that support them, The Care Umbrella solves these issues. It removes frustrations…and more. Whilst enabling care businesses to promote their goods and services directly to the right individuals and families, at the right time, The Care Umbrella helps people to quickly identify and shortlist the right care to meet their needs.
Q: Congratulations on your new venture Sarah! How are you feeling?
A: I’m so excited! This launch has been a year in the making. It’s been a challenging year for the world and possibly the worst time to start a new venture. However, we’ve done it and The Care Umbrella has finally arrived! During the development process my amazing team—Preeti, Tara and Nick—have prepared, organised and implemented constant changes. Particularly as I began to discover so much essential information missing from other care sites and resources. I wanted to include all of this within The Care Umbrella.
Q: Tell us a little about your background
A: As a firm advocate for the UK Government’s initiative, integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, I’ve been involved in the operational side of the care industry for many years. My extensive managerial career has encompassed both residential care settings and supported living provisions. My recent history includes working within my own company, A Perfect PA.
Offering a unique service providing a caring alternative for vulnerable adults at home and in the community, I founded A Perfect PA three years ago, after being diagnosed with cancer. It completely changed my outlook on life. Cancer forced me to re-focus. It made me consider what I want to achieve, my life goals and how I could give back to society.
Working closely with care industry professionals, outside agencies and internal management, the foundation of my focus has always been based upon ensuring safe and supported care services to meet individual needs. For me, the rich rewards of working directly with the families and service users are reaped in the form of individual growth via positive support and assistance in the community.
Q: Where did the idea for The Care Umbrella come from?
A: As the owner of A Perfect PA, the stumbling blocks I continuously came across were advertising issues. This business can’t be registered with CQC (because we don’t provide personal care). As such, care listing sites won’t allow me to purchase advertising space. When it came to promoting my service, I was left feeling extremely frustrated. The role of a listing or promotional website should be to provide information and choice. Not to limit or decide what care users can access.
For a long time, creating an online care hub has been on my mind, as I knew that so much information, detail and care user choice was missing. I always wanted to encourage positive and creative solutions tailored to meet each need. I wanted to improve available care information to promote accessible community services for everyone—making connections and delivering choice.
Whilst researching this new venture, I was constantly amazed by how much is out there that I never even dreamed about! There are inventors inventing dementia-friendly gadgets; authors writing about their experiences with a family member, charities offering support in ways I didn’t know existed. Not to mention the tradespeople and services that provide trustworthy, friendly and cost-effective workmanship for vulnerable people. The solutions, services and ingenuity are vast. On top of this, the amount of care centered events that take place and events that provide disabled access—until now, such events haven’t enjoyed a specific promotional platform.
As a result, The Care Umbrella was born. An all-encompassing, powerful care hub for anyone who wants to promote their services or who requires care or support.
Q: How does The Care Umbrella help and support charities?
A: As a person living with breast cancer, over the previous five years I’ve accessed, relied upon and used my fair share of support from cancer charities.
The Paul Strickland Scanner Centre (keeping me alive by looking inside my body every eight weeks) and Breast Cancer Now—an amazing source of advice and information, are my two personal favourites. My way of giving back to all the incredible charities out there is by offering free advertising.
Any registered charity can advertise for free on The Care Umbrella and take advantage of banner advertising, feature in our What’s On, share their news and contribute to our blog. The information that charities provide to people whilst asking for no money in return is outstandingly invaluable. As a thank you to each and every charity, The Care Umbrella hub will publicise their amazing work.
Q: What are your future plans for The Care Umbrella?
A: I’m so proud to be a part of the UK care industry. Yes, it has its faults but so does any industry. The difference is that we’re dealing with vulnerable people. We have to learn from our mistakes much faster or learn to pre-empt mistakes so they don’t ever happen. The pandemic has certainly shown that, if it pulls together, the industry can do amazing things. Moving forwards, I really hope that The Care Umbrella will highlight some of these inspirational stories via our news and blog pages.
There are still some things that need changing or re-designing. But it’s an ongoing project and as we grow and use the site we will find things that work or don’t work. This is to be expected. I’m not one for saying, “Ok, that will do”! So, I will always be on our developers’ backs! As an agile new business, we’re now also working on creating the second stage of The Care Umbrella. Designed to complement and work in conjunction with The Care Umbrella, CommCareConnect is a networking and advertising community. Specifically suited to care providers, care suppliers and care champions, CommCareConnect will be free to join. Watch this space!
Q: What does The Care Umbrella need to succeed?
A: For this hub to be successful we need you—the community, the providers, services, trades and care champions. Together we can provide information, shared experiences and choice.
If you would like more information about how you can advertise or get involved with The Care Umbrella, please contact Sarah Jones at email@example.com.