Humans of the Peninsula Digitalising Frontline Social Care
A fantastic new technology-based initiative, enabling the development of a humanitarian network in county, for both paid and unpaid positions for people to provide lifestyle support or random acts of kindness and respond to someone in need in their community, through a ‘real-time’ App notification.
If we have learnt anything in facing this pandemic together, it is how every member of society has been placed in a more vulnerable position, and we saw community spirit probably not witnessed since the days of the Blitz. Where the worldwide web had made society global, the pandemic brought society back to its roots, confined in our homes and in our local communities, with neighbours reaching out, helping and caring for each other. We witnessed many acts of selflessness and kindness with armies of volunteers delivering essential supplies direct to the homes of the most vulnerable people.
Humans aims to enable this through a centralised point and at scale, and through our local NHS, Cornwall Council and community partners as sources for referrals. We can respond to demand for personalised support within our local communities, by mobilising people when and where the need. Our plan is to make this work for anyone in need, whether to be discharged from hospital, or if someone is finding themselves unwell and unable to manage, perhaps facing some issue or difficulty, or in real crisis, or maybe people have reported concerns for them and we need to check in to ensure they are okay.
Humans ‘Personal Lifestyle Assistants’ are bank staff and from all walks of life, they provide paid support in a person’s home (not personal care), usually to stabilise a situation and prevent deterioration of a person’s situation. We often find there can be things like the electricity has been cut off, they’ve been unable to get food, or find they can no longer cook, essential white goods may have broken down, they have no running water, or inadequate income, can no longer get around their own home due to frailty or worsening of health conditions, or sadly, at times, they are victims of abuse, in most cases that has been financial.
Well now we can come together to support our communities with more people signed up to Humans, giving us the necessary geographic coverage to mobilise as and when needed and ensure people in need are not alone or unsupported and do not, by default, end up unnecessarily in hospital. Often PA work may only be one visit, sometimes multiple visits, and Humans can choose what they are available to do at that time by picking shifts from a rota in a really user friendly way.
Humans is recruiting people who do not traditionally work in care and support to join the network, this is about us all as citizens being able to step up where there is a need, in our immediate community and we only need people to have the right values, compassion and willingness to help, the rest you will learn through the short training programme and from working with our dedicated team. While tech is the enabler for Humans, it is combined with our support planning and brokerage service, so whether paid or unpaid, every person we mobilise is connected and supported by our back office team, who provide guidance while you are in the home, answer any questions you may have, and address any issues as they arise. They will also be undertaking the wrap around support for that person, such as applying for crisis grants, or getting them a welfare benefits check, and maximising their household income, organising services, ordering equipment, dealing with their utility suppliers and the list goes on.
We also support people to connect to specialist disability services in the community, perhaps if they have deteriorating sight, we will refer to iSight Cornwall for assessments and equipment for example. Humans will help us identify those broader issues creating health inequalities too, if the person’s home is unsuitable, or mouldy, or if they don’t have a bed, or don’t appear to be eating, or heating for example, then these are all the things you will tell our team and they are working to address them ‘behind the scenes’. This personalisation support wraps itself around the person, rather than people being expected to engage with services and its truly bespoke to their specific needs. So far ‘Humans’ has taken on former nurses, current social care staff, retirees, OT’s, business people, students and more. They are both men and women currently aged 17-75 and it continues to grow. There is no age limit and we welcome a diverse workforce. We’re also keen to recruit people with any specialist skills, whether that is supporting people at end of life, or communication specialists such as British Sign Language.
The website enables sign up through a pro-forma, DBS check, uploading CV/referees, photo for an ID card, an ‘online’ interview and signing of a worker agreement, leading to online social care training provision. When all the free checks and training are complete, our new Humans can be mobilised for work. The beauty of Humans is that once signed up, a ‘real-time’ notification of a specific need for support is pinged through the App and will be received on the phones of people in that specific geographic area, enabling people to respond, accept, and commence the care log and we can mobilise them immediately.
This App also enables us to:
• Have self-employed PA’s/community carers to sign up. We will
check a DBS, HMRC reference and insurance and can connect people
who require personal care to carers in their community.
• Share permanent vacancies for Direct Payment funded positions
on behalf of employers to find their own PA’s.
Inspired? Interested? Is this you?
If like us, you also feel that kindness is the new cool, then please join
our network at www.humansofthepeninsula.co.uk