Tom Crook, Investment Manager at Resonance, discusses how two investee companies from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund (South West) have partnered up to help older people across Devon and Cornwall to stay independent in their own homes.
I am lucky to work with some really amazing social enterprises delivering significant impact in their communities, and it is especially exciting when some of those enterprises find ways to connect with each other to strengthen themselves and increase the impact they can deliver. This is the case with Personal Alarm Watch and Health And Care At Home, two social enterprises which have come together as they share a mission of helping elderly people stay independent, happier and healthier.
Health and Care at Home is a domiciliary care company providing high quality, bespoke home-based care in the South West enabling people to continue to live as full and meaningful lives as they are able to within their own homes as members of their community. The enterprise has teamed up with Personal Alarm Watch, the UK’s highest rated alarm service provider in order to support those they care for, who often live in fear of having a fall while being alone and not being able to summon help. The Personal Alarm Watch offers so much more independence and allows older people to be more active and independent, as it provides a discreet emergency watch that works outside the home (in fact anywhere in the UK), unlike other devices which are range-limited (and stigmatising) pendants.
Seeing connections like this work in practice is inspirational, as both enterprises are continually looking for ways to support their clients to be more independent and able to enjoy being more active in the community, without being constrained at home. This sort of ‘joined up thinking’ is more vital than ever in the current COVID-19 environment, where older people need more support than ever.
The alarm is designed to look like an everyday watch and has the ability to make an emergency call to a 24/7 monitoring team. Unlike traditional alarms, older people can get help wherever they go because the device can be used anywhere in the country; at home or out and about. The watch can also track steps and measure heart rate to help people stay safe, independent and active. It was designed with the help of older people across Devon and Cornwall and supported by Design Council and social investment.
The collaboration between the two enterprises sees clients offered one free month of use of the Personal Alarm Watch, for them to see how it works for them individually. Since the device has been designed in collaboration with older people all over the country, it has addressed the must have features fed back, including making sure there are no difficult or in-person installations necessary and the desire to feel safe both inside and outside their homes.
I discussed the collaboration with Health and Care at Home’s CEO Dr Clive Acraman, and he explained why they had chosen Personal Alarm Watch to partner with: ”At Health and Care at Home we specialise in providing the very best, bespoke care and support to our customers. There are many wearable call systems on the market that people can wear at home to give a measure of assurance, unfortunately these do not work outside of the home. We have chosen to work in partnership with Personal Alarm Watch because they are continually considering ways to enable people to remain as independent as possible as valued members of their community.”
I also spoke with Ewan Marshall who is Co-Founder of Personal Alarm Watch and he said: “Having grown up on the border of Devon and Cornwall, I am incredibly excited to work with Health and Care at Home to help older people across the South West stay independent. I feel especially proud as we have spent years designing the Personal Alarm Watch with older people in both counties and now we are able to be there for people when their families may not be able to be.”
At Resonance we are seeing more and more of our investee social enterprises exploring ways in which they might be able to collaborate, and I am excited for the future when we hope to see more social enterprises teaming up to deliver greater impact in their communities.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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