Tree Gillions (31) from Oakham owns a home help company, Tree's Home Help which offers services to the vulnerable, lonely and elderly around Rutland and surrounding villages. Tree's aim is to help their clients maintain their independence with Tree's help and care.
But Tree isn't just a carer who fell in love with the work she does, Tree has a disability herself and is proud of being 'the only disabled home support carer in Rutland' - and possibly in the whole of the UK! I was extremely inspired by Tree's story and her passion for the job she says she 'was meant to do' and I'm so pleased I was lucky enough to meet such an incredible person who helps others despite having a disability herself.
I met with Tree a number of times to find out more about the services she offers such as; home support, cleaning, companionship, chaperone, personal care, errands and shopping, liaising with agencies and social services, assistance with paperwork and finances and much, much more!
I asked Tree a few questions about her business and what it means to own a business in Rutland helping Rutland residents. Find out what we asked Tree and what she had to say about her wonderful business which helps assist those in need...
It’s been a pleasure to meet you and I’ve been so inspired by your story! Please tell the readers how ‘Tree’s Home Help’ started and a little more about yourself and the business?
I started Tree’s Home Help in October 2017, after falling into the industry purely by chance. I found I had a natural ability in the field and felt like it was something I was born to do, I am highly passionate about doing anything possible that allows people to remain independent in their own homes. I started out with two clients, one I assisted with her weekly shop, and another I was asked to take-on by social services. Now 6 months later, I have both ad-hoc clients and 7 regular clients, with new clients signing on weekly since the website went live. I have even taken someone on to help with my admin and advertising.
I also wanted to make my ideas a reality to prove to people that disability should not be seen as a barrier. I have a form of Cerebral Palsy called Left Hemiplegia, this affects things such as the fine motor skills in my left hand, as well as making my left leg significantly shorter than my right. However, I have never let my difficulties stop me in life and if anything, I feel it has not only made me a better person but also more able to identify with some of the difficulties my clients may be facing. I often get asked how I manage and the answer is because I have to. Sitting back and letting my disability stop me is not an option, this is my vocation.
Tree’s Home Help has been established 6 months please tell us what training you have had?
I am trained in First Aid, fire safety, infection control, food hygiene, medication management, moving and handling (including hoists and lifts), dementia awareness and MAPA (Management of Actual or Potential Aggression). I also have experience of dealing with adults with learning difficulties, all of which are thanks to another part-time job I have as a support worker with a local charity. At present I am in the later stages of my mandatory “Care Certificate” Training which will lead on to my NVQ later this year, I am continually training in new areas, some of which will include Buckle training, PEG, and catheter training over the next few months.
Your business is not only about home care though is it?
You offer many other services that aren’t just suitable for the less-able or the elderly. You offer companionship, cleaning, and chaperone services too!
Please explain the other services that you offer and how you can help other around Rutland who may just need that extra helping hand from Tree’s Home Help?
That’s correct, I also offer a range of other services, from weekly cleans and assistance with shopping, to help with managing tasks such as paperwork, paying bills and finding additional help from outside sources, such as Social Services or groups. I am available to help with almost any aspect of care or assistance yourself or a loved one may need, even if that’s just to come back to an immaculate house after a busy week at work or with children. If my disability prevents me from carrying out certain tasks, then I will always find another way to get those tasks done.
As you know, I only cover the local and independent business’ on the blog. What you love about owning a business in Rutland and what it means to you?
I have loved this area ever since my husband carried out some work here and he suggested we came for a holiday. That was nearly 6 years ago and we dreamed of one day being lucky enough to live in such a small idyllic place. In 2013 we got our chance and moved here just a few months before our daughter was born, now nearly 5 years on and one child more, we still class ourselves as the luckiest people alive, especially now our daughter is about to start school. I am originally from a tiny remote peninsula called “Scoraig” On the west coast of Scotland, there was no mains electric (Only wind power) No roads, and you had to travel by boat to reach it (Unless you wanted a 5mile hike) Whist Rutland does not offer quite the same upbringing as I had, it never the less offers a certain je ne sais quoi that I don’t think you can get anywhere else in England.
Sometimes it can be difficult for people of different ages to find the help and care they need in Rutland and you’ve designed your website with that in mind. It’s so easy to use and to find out the information you need about what care/help you can offer Rutland residents.
Please explain the initial process of how potential clients can register their interest with you and arrange the first consultation?
Thank you, a lot of thought went into the website, I wanted it to be simple so as not to scare people off. If an individual or their family would like to discuss how we can help them, then they can either contact me through the form on the website, email me, find me on Facebook, or of course, simply call me. Initially, I visit the individual to discuss what their needs are, this is a free service and usually takes about 30 minutes. I will take details such as any health issues, medication, likes dislikes, anything that allows me to build up a picture of that person, all in the greatest of confidence. I will also conduct a risk assessment of the surroundings.
Once this is done and if the person wishes to enlist my services, a contract is signed, and a copy of their care plan approved and provided. It will then be up to the client and myself to agree on an amount of time needed each week, this can be any amount of time from 1 hour once a week to several hours a day. This is reviewed regularly by myself or at the client's request to ensure any changes in needs are taken into account.
I’m so pleased I met someone who is so passionate and positive about helping others stay independent, who happens to have a disability themselves. You’re quite the inspiration and I want to thank you for sharing your business on the blog.
What can we expect from the future of Tree’s Home Help?
Thank you, I feel very lucky to be able to do something I love so much, I really look forward to Monday mornings now which is kind of special, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I have big hopes for my company, the rate at which it is expanding is fantastic and I plan on taking on another member of staff in the next 6 months to help with the workload. Longer term I would love to see Tree’s Home Help offer a 24 hours service, and eventually see it role out all over the UK, especially as I have a desire to see each area run by an individual with a disability. If I can give someone out there the hope that they can achieve their dreams even in the face of adversity then I will see Trees Home Help as being a resounding success...
Covering Rutland and surrounding villages
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