Support With Confidence supports people to choose a personal assistant or care and support provider who has been vetted and approved for quality, safety and training to ensure they provide a professional and trustworthy service.
The East Sussex County Council-run scheme, which now boasts 157 accredited members across the county, welcomed its latest 16 new recruits at a ceremony held at The View Hotel, in Eastbourne.
Cllr Bill Bentley, lead member for adult social care, said: “Personal assistants and other support providers play a hugely important role in helping people live independent lives.
“It’s vital that people have complete trust and confidence in someone who is working with them in their own homes and as they go about their day-to-day lives.
“The real benefit of the scheme is the peace of mind it gives to service users and their families who can be sure they’re employing an approved provider who is able to give the highest quality service.
“People know they’ll be getting a provider who has been thoroughly checked and vetted, who is trustworthy and who will do the job professionally and responsibly.
“The latest members to join Support With Confidence, some of whom have transformed their lives by switching to a new and rewarding career, should feel proud that they are joining an ever-growing network of trusted and approved members working across East Sussex.”
A total of 31 new providers have joined the scheme in the past year, including 24 personal assistants, who may support people at home with household duties, cooking and personal care, as well as accompanying them to travel, visit family or attend social events.
Other new recruits to Support With Confidence include providers of home care, community support services, day services for people with dementia, mental health outreach services and independent financial advisers.
More information about the Support With Confidence Scheme is available online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/supportwithconfidence
Jane Routledge, from Eastbourne, became a self-employed personal assistant after spells working in the property sector and as a care worker.
She said: “I provide companionship to people, chaperone them and carry out light errands such as shopping but can also help them with travelling to see relatives – I can assist them in any way they need.
“I like working with the elderly because I think you can learn from them, and the good thing about the service I provide is they get to know you and they know they’re going to see a familiar face.
“If you’re employing someone to work for you, you have to feel confident in them and the great thing about this scheme is it gives people that peace of mind.”
Martin Prior, from Hailsham, became a personal assistant in the summer after taking early retirement from a management role with a large organisation.
He said: “I see my role as giving people the confidence to have a better quality of life. There’s a forgotten generation out there that just need a little bit of help and support.
“Personally, I take a lot of satisfaction from doing what I see as my favourite thing in the world – putting a smile on someone’s face.
“The benefit of Support With Confidence is that clients know they’re going to get someone who has their interests at heart and treats them with respect, while there’s also more flexibility than you might get with a large organisation.
“They know they’ll get someone they can trust, and that’s the most important thing.”