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Pioneering approach fuels business success while helping people

Award-winning specialist support
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Award-winning specialist support
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

What are your business goals? For many people it’s about growing and conquering the business world. For our Chelmsford Waterhouse Business Centre customer, PALS, it’s less about business expansion, and more about supporting as many adults with learning disabilities as possible.

A pioneering approach to social care

Our business accommodation customer, PALS – which stands for Personal Assistants for Life Skills – provide specialist one-to-one support for adults with learning disabilities in a pioneering approach, bringing together educational and social care support in a cohesive, person-centred way. “I started the company in 2006 and we were the first support provider to adopt this approach,” explains the company’s founder, Kirk Wells. “We specifically match our Personal Assistants to our Service Users whilst giving them complete choice and control. This offers continuity for our Service Users and enables them to develop a relationship built on trust and consistency with their Personal Assistants. This approach makes it more likely for them to make progress and to develop in various aspects of their life.”

Benefits of flexible business accommodation

In 2012 when the lease on their old office expired, PALS were keen to seize the opportunity and relocate to an office that supported their service and the people that used it: “We took a Capital Space unit and configured it into a venue from which we could run various activities, almost like a day centre. Having the services from the centre staff on site was a nice bonus as well, and the 30-day term was appealing given that this was new territory for us.  We now also use an office in the main Waterhouse Business Centre building and have introduced a sister business to the site. The great parking is also really important to us as well the meeting rooms and franking service.”

A “truly person-centred” business

PALS are always wanting to support more people, and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed: “We have won the Putting People First Award in the Great British Care Awards twice. We have never been driven by business expansion per se but would like to be able to support more people in our very unique, bespoke way. We’re here to serve people far less fortunate than ourselves, most of whom could be in crisis at the point of our involvement; we’re truly person-centred and feel that we have, in part, led the way to bringing education, health and social care together through a single service.”

Kirk encourages anybody who has a business idea that revolves around helping people to go out and make it happen: “If there are people with a need for your service or you can add value to people’s lives, then start your movement!  Challenge convention, be innovative and work tirelessly to demonstrate what can be achieved. Learn more from criticism than you do from praise and stay focussed on the business's reason for being. Also, accept that it's OK to choose your customers as much as they choose you!”

A truly refreshing approach to business, the pioneering work that PALS are doing to enrich the lives of more vulnerable people in society is an inspiration.

To find out how CapitalSpace virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667