Monthind’s relationship with Essex Cares is a prime example of how we strive to fully understand how our clients’ organisations work, seeking ways to help them grow and to carry out their core responsibilities as effectively as possible. In short, giving them an extraordinary service.

In 2004 we were asked by Essex County Council to provide a daily cleaning service for 4 resource centres in Braintree and Chelmsford. A few years later we won the caretaking contract for Essex Cares, providing 4 mobile caretakers in vans to look after several resource centres around Essex.

Once Essex Cares became a separate operation from ECC our business with them enjoyed further growth. In May 2012 the daily cleaning and caretaking contract was combined, and we signed a new contract with them for 24 months. We now have 6 mobile caretakers in vans, 7 static caretakers in resource centres, and we clean a total of 21 resource centres daily.

Resource centres are purpose-built to accommodate adults with mental and physical disabilities. These day residents are transported in from around the county to spend their day being cared for and taking part in various activities, including craft, music, cooking and gardening. They also receive a hot meal and can be bathed at the centre.

Supporting the resource centres’ work

Monthind’s primary task is to ensure these resource centres are as clean as possible at all times; especially important in such a busy environment where viruses and bacteria can be passed on easily.

Our caretakers also assist in the development of the individuals who visit the resource centres, namely by allowing them to help with tasks that involve maintaining the general hygiene of the building, and offering support in their daily activities wherever possible. Naturally, this only takes place under full supervision from the caretaker. The positive effects of these activities and interactions include improved self-esteem and a greater ability to carry out everyday tasks – some of which may help them maintain their independence.

Difficult situations are occasionally encountered with these vulnerable adults, but our well-trained staff possess excellent communication skills and the level of patience required to support Essex Cares’ core staff as much as possible, throughout their work.

We were delighted to be able to meet and exceed the client’s expectations in these ways.

Professional, secure delivery of service

All Monthind staff members are vetted by the Independent Safeguarding Authority which involves an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The disclosure service ensures the risk of appointing an unsuitable person to work with children and/or vulnerable adults is greatly reduced.

Quality and continuity of service are maintained through a programme of monthly site meetings attended by Jenny Buffey, Monthind’s Contract Support Manager, and the client’s site representative. All activities are then reviewed at a regular operational contract meeting between Alan Dunsdon, Building Manager of Essex Cares, and Penny Candler, Monthind’s Business Manager. These meetings ensure that we continuously improve our service offering to Essex Cares, both in terms of our core cleaning and caretaking duties, and in supporting their staff in their day to day tasks.

Supporting Essex Cares in the future

Our latest venture with Essex Cares is HomeSafe, a service we are trialling that helps vulnerable adults remain in their own homes by providing help with housework, gardening and general maintenance. As well as keeping their home environment safe and pleasant, having another person visit them regularly can also be hugely beneficial from a social standpoint.

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