Isabella’s Homes is a Mental Health Supported Accommodation Service for men and women living with long-term severe mental illness. People who use the service will be over the age of 18 to 65. They will be planning to return to independent living in the community, following rehabilitation in hospital or residential care.
The service will be staffed 24 hours per day and will provide onsite support to enable people who use the service to develop their community living skills.
The service culture will focus on the rehabilitation and recovery, and the service will encourage people to live as independently as possible, with the goal of eventually acquiring their own tenancy.
Isabella’s Homes is to open its first mental health care home in Wolverhampton in October 2018.
The business owner, Natasha, is new to the Black Country and needed help gaining the right contacts and making connections in areas such as recruitment, in order to find individuals with specific skills and qualifications.
The organisation also wanted general growth support and advice, as well as wanting to gain connections within the local authority, to help them understand the local procurement process for the care sector.
BCGH signposted a number of relevant support programmes, as well as providing some key contacts related to her business needs.
The company was then referred to the Business Support team at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, they helped to steer Natasha throughout the business side of her operation, enabling her to turn her vision into a reality.
One of the programmes recommended to Natasha was the AIM Programme which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. This allowed Natasha to take advantage of funded support, workshops and 1:1 advice.
It was during a holiday in August 2017 I had the idea and vision for Isabella’s Homes, so I decided, along with my partner, who is a pharmacist, to move to the area and set up the business using my experience of ‘home treatment’ in the mental health care system
Natasha Spence, Owner, Isabella’s Homes
Black Country Growth Hub worked with Isabella’s Homes to help the business access several recruitment agencies, as a result the organisation has now appointed a registered manager, as well as an apprentice.
Natasha found the one to one mentoring provided by key partner, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, particularly helpful. This allowed her to make a wider connection within the local community and she has improved her confidence while networking as a result.
With the help of BCGH and partners, Isabella’s Homes now has a stronger team and Natasha is excited and hopeful that her home in Wolverhampton will be the first of many across the region.
Natasha is already working with the commissioning team at Walsall Council to look into the possibility of a similar home in their borough. She is also working with a number of council authorities and mental health experts across the Black Country to cover more areas.