Tired and lacking fulfilment from her corporate career, Adderbury resident Bev Martin knew she needed a shift in 2021 after years of high pressure had caught up with her.
With a newly launched social care enterprise, and the support of Oxfordshire County Council, Bev feels she is making a difference.
Bev said: “Changing careers at any point in life is daunting, but after doing commercial work for so long it was difficult to know where to turn next. There were only two real requirements for me –whatever I did, it needed to be beneficial to others. And I had to really love it!”
That’s when Bev began to consider social care.
She said: “Wellbeing and social care were something which had interested me as a possibility for a long time, but I didn’t fully know how to bring it to life – or how diverse working in care and wellbeing actually is. Luckily, Community Catalysts was there to help.”
Community Catalysts offers free support to individuals who wish to set up their own social enterprise or work on a self-employed basis to provide care and wellbeing services to adults in need of additional support.
The well-established scheme is currently partnering with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure that those who want to pursue a career in care or wellbeing, but do so independently, have access to the right tools and resources to get started.
Bev added: “When someone referred me to Community Catalysts, they told me the scheme would change my life, and it really has.”
Before too long Bev met Anita Wingad, a community enterprise catalyst, with the Community Catalysts scheme. Anita works collaboratively with Oxfordshire residents to help them build and cultivate their own way of working in care and wellbeing support – from ensuring they adhere to regulations and legislation in adult social care, to helping them promote their new venture when it’s up and running.
Anita said : “Bev was the ideal candidate for Community Catalysts to offer support to. She had real-life experience and a great understanding of the type of social enterprise she wanted to offer. Wellbeing support for adults is so important and it was definitely something the scheme and the county council wanted to help facilitate.”
Within a matter of months Bev established My Bright Space, a support service that provides wellbeing care, emotional support and hypnotherapy to adults in the county, as well as personal assistance.
Bev added: “People sometimes have long-held, negative self-perceptions or beliefs, and it’s incredibly rewarding to work together to create positive change.
“It’s so refreshing to have made the change and to have recalibrated and repurposed my skills. What could possibly be more rewarding than helping and supporting others?”
For more information on Community Catalysts and its partnership with the county council see the following web link: https://livewell.oxfordshire.gov.uk/Services/4935/Community-Catalysts