Sunflowers Care - £50,000 over 5 years, 23 jobs created
"We value what women bring to the workplace and know from personal experience that flexible working conditions improves the quality of life for employees. Time has shown it enables our business to sustain its high quality of care too" - Karen Higgins -
Working together in Addenbrooke's and with the Children's Community Nursing Team, experienced nurses Lucy Andrews and Karen Higgins realised there was a huge gap in care provision for children with complex health, and a need for local short break care. Having the experience and enthusiasm to provide these services, they decided to set up a business to do so.
They aimed to establish a specialist home offering individually planned care that focused on children having fun, whilst giving parents the opportunity to either stay, or take 'time out'. They soon identified a property in Cottenham, ideal for conversion and big enough to enable them to support young people with a variety of complex health needs.
As their business was to have a big social impact, Lucy and Karen approached Resonance, a leading intermediary in the social funding sector. Resonance helped them to write a business plan. Unfortunately their bank, whilst sympathetic to their mission, could not help. Having invested some of their own money, and attracted a local social investor, they approached Foundation East for support in equipping the facility and working capital. Their business plan was viable. We said 'yes'.
Named Sunflowers Care Ltd, Lucy and Karen's care home has employed 69 people (67 of them women) and provided care for 20 families. Key to success has been a commitment to flexible working practices.
Winning and being shortlisted for many awards, and rated 'Good' by QCC, their achievements are impressive. We're proud to have helped.
"We could not have achieved what we have without a strong, assertive, skilled team."