Sunderland Home Care Associates
Sunderland Home Care Associates, now in its nineteenth year, is an employee-owned social enterprise which provides home care packages and care services for people in Sunderland.
It was founded in 1994 by Margaret Elliott, a veteran of social enterprises. With the help of an initial £10,000 grant from Sunderland City Council, the business expanded from an initial staff of 20 to more than 430 support workers.
It became a fully employee-owned social enterprise in 1998.
It's a really viable and sustainable way to provide public services, which benefits clients and staff.
Margaret Elliot, Director of Care Services at Sunderland Home Care Associates, on employee ownership
Structured so people always come first, a core value is that staff are motivated by caring for the client and not by making money - in Margaret's words, "People before profit."
As shareholders, staff take an active part in meetings every other month to set budgets, pay and conditions.
In addition to delivering over 10,000 hours of care per week to approximately 600 clients, SHCA have developed a number of initiatives:
- Academic Support - working with Sunderland University, they provide academic support for disabled students
- Independent Futures - they use 'micro enterprise' to help give service users a fulfilling and independent life
- Cafe on the Park, in partnership with Sunderland Council - staff, some of whom have a learning disability, provide food in a small cafe in Herrington Country Park, and have shares in the company.
The Sunderland model is now being replicated. Care and Share Associates (CASA) was set up by Sunderland Home Care Associates as a separate company and has developed, for example, Newcastle Home Care Associates and Manchester Home Care Associates. The latest development is CASA Leeds.
For more information, visit the website at www.sunderland2020.com