Independent Living Specialists
Kinship Connect are new independent living specialists, who joined us in the Hub in April 2017. It is the brainchild of Tavistock resident Kevin Cowie, who came to the conclusion a few years ago that he wanted to dedicate himself to adding value to the community.
After initially trying to get a social enterprise fund off the ground that rewarded investors and local community projects, Kevin was steered towards independent living support by the experience of his parents. A blown light bulb in their house blew a fuse and neither of them was physically able to change the old style wire fuse or bulb. Despite having a home maintenance contract, it took three days for an electrician to arrive, leaving them sitting in the dark for all of that time. It inspired him to find a way to do it better.
He looked at the existing care franchises but they didn’t fit what he wanted to provide, partly because they were too business focussed and could therefore end up inflexible. Kevin decided to start his own business model. A history of military service and management consultancy with a due diligence specialist have certainly been very useful in preparing for the rigours of working within a tight regulatory framework!
Kinship Connect is to work like a membership scheme, where people can buy credits and use them however it suits them. They might choose to have their personal care delivered by Kinship, and or other support that helps people to lead a truly independent life and remain in their own homes for as long as is practicable, including: being accompanied for a shopping trip, help with arranging appointments and transport or jobs around the home. A light bulb change as per his parents’ example would only cost one credit because it should only take fifteen minutes on site to do the job and within a five-mile radius there’s no charge for travel time.
In the short term, jobs like these will be outsourced to local companies, but in the longer term plan Kinship will have its own full time handy-person and probably a couple of seasonal gardeners too.
The team also currently includes Gemma Glover as Area Care and Operations Manager and Ash Eslick is the Area Care Coordinator. Gemma looks after all of the regulated aspects of care provision and the systems and processes required by the regulatory body. Ash looks after scheduling, rostering and managing the real time reporting dashboard while managing the Care Cluster teams in the field.
What is the best part of your job?
Having a really clear objective to add value in the community – we intend to compete on quality rather than price.
What is the key to your success?
So far it’s the combination of motivation, conviction, a good plan, hiring the right people and being in the right environment.
What is the best thing for your business about the Hub?
It’s a great environment, especially as a start up. We’re implementing digital system, so having people in the building who can help with those little things that could otherwise make or break your day has been invaluable. We’re surrounded by friendly, open, willing fellow business owners in a great location and at a great price.
What is new for your business at the moment?
Our systems are now in place so we’re building the team and looking for collaborative partnerships. The next step is actually fulfilling our strap line for clients of all ages who need our help: “Your life, your way”
For more, please see their website here: Kinship Connect