|Thu 27 Feb 2014 |
Saying Goodbye to our Director of Finance
On Saturday the 2nd of April, we donned the retirement banners and balloons to say goodbye and thank you to our Director of Finance for 26 years of wonderful service to Independent Options.
Madeleine started with us back in 1988, when the first ever Red Nose Day was being put into production, when work had just begun on the Channel Tunnel, and the £1 note had been withdrawn from production.
She started on our admin team, as a short term resolution to working whilst the kids were in school. She thought she’d only be with us for a couple of years!
She thought she’d only be with us for a couple of years! 26 years, grown up children and a qualified acountancy later, she was still here and a fantastic job she did too.
So as we say goodbye to Madeleine, here is her final interview:
What are your first memories of Independent Options?
Being kissed in the kitchen at the Pines by one of the guests while waiting for my interview and not being sure if it was one of the tests.
How has Independent Options changed over your time?
Enormously, there were only 16 staff and one service (Short Breaks at The Pines) when I started and everything was very casual, handwritten etc. I didn’ t even have a desk and chair, but I did have an Amstrad computer (thanks Sir Alan!) not that it did very much. Today I think we are very professional and I would be pleased to show any of our services to anyone.
What has been the highlights of your career?
This is quite difficult because there are loads, but I was very proud when we finally purchased The Pines from the council, after 2 years of legal wrangling, as this meant that we would always have a firm base to run the services from.
Who is the most memorable person that you have worked with and why?
because he rescued the organisation from decline and set up every service, other than Short Breaks, that we run today, and he did it for the service users.
What will you miss the most?
All the friendly staff we have.
What are you going on to do next?
I’m going to relax at first then I’d like to do some travelling and maybe I will do some voluntary work. Possibly apply to the Great British Bake off (after a bit more practising)
Any funny stories?
Some that I can’t put in here.
From all at Independent Options, we wish Madeleine a happy and relaxing retirement! .
|Tue 04 Feb 2014 |
Children and Family Centre Closure
It is with a heavy heart, that I can confirm that we will be closing our Children and Family Centre this year as our planned 5 year Big Lottery funding will end on the 31st of March and we have been unsuccessful in avenues to secure further funding.
For those that don’t know, the Children and Family Centre has been at our head office in Hazel Grove for the past 5 years and provides groups and interactive sessions for children between 0 and 10, and support for the parents.
It’s important to us to acknowledge the good that the Children and Family centre has done in the past 5 years and the continuing influence it has on local families. We are proud of all it has, and continues, to achieve and we have not taken this decision lightly.
I also want to reassure everyone that the rest of our services to families and individuals are not affected by this decision and will continue as usual.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for providing such a wonderful service for the families, the families for their continued support and finally the Big Lottery and Children In Need for their funding which has made the past 5 years possible.
|Sat 01 Feb 2014 |
A Visit From The Local MP
Whilst it was all cold and rainy in Hazel Grove yesterday afternoon, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for us as we had Mark Hunter, Member of Parliament for Cheadle, visit us here at The Pines.
After hearing about growing concerns regarding budget cuts around care, we hosted an afternoon between Mark and some of the parents of our service users to discuss the parents worries.
Mark really appreciated that the worries that plague parents when planning for their children’s long term care as they rely heavily on the money allocated to them by the local authority. So with this in mind, Mark spent a few hours here listening closely to these reservations, and to show his support to the parents.
Mark was happy to spend time discussing the options with the parents, advising them as best as he could and pledged his support for future.
Steve, our CEO, who was in the meeting as well, said afterwards; ‘I think everyone really enjoyed it, and found Mark to be very supportive.’
So after a cup of coffee with our parents, Mark was kind enough to pose for a couple of pictures with (from left to right) Angela Beagrie (trustee), Derek Fisher (parent) and below, with our Chair of Trustees Jim Grassick.
We enjoyed having Mark to visit, and hope to welcome him back to The Pines soon!
|Mon 27 Jan 2014 |
The Care Quality Commission Inspection Results
As some of you may know, we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. .
The CQC’s aim is to make sure that all care-providing establishments are clean, safe and effective, and they do this by setting standards of quality and safety, and then monitoring, inspecting and regulating these within care services.
We had our latest inspection at the end of last year, and we are pleased to announce that the reports are in and we were fully compliant to the CQC standards across the board.
As the CQC has a transparency policy, they ensure that all their reports are published online, and visible to everyone, so the outcome of their visits to Independent Options can be viewed here.
It is rare that we have time to reflect on these things as an organisation as we are always looking at ways to improve, but it’s with pride that we can say that our staff have achieved this outcome, our services are still the best they can be and we continue to deliver excellent care to those who use our services
|Tue 21 Jan 2014 |
An update from our CEO
So it’s a new year, and like so many others around the world, here at Independent Options (North West) we are looking forward to a new start.
I'm all settled back into my routine here at our head office at The Pines, on Chester Road, and now able to share a quick update with you all.
2014 looks to be an exciting year for us, with a lot of changes to look forward to. To kick start us, we are now available on all digital platforms, with a new Facebook group, Twitter page and our services can be found on LinkedIn.
We have started 2014 with a new Marketing Officer, Natasha, who will be looking to promote and advertise Independent Options and all of the good things we do to a wider audience, and I’m very pleased to say we will soon be releasing an advert for a Fundraising manager to come on board so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Our services continue to flourish, with exciting projects in the pipe line, and we continue to grow our teams, both those on the front line and the teams behind the scenes at our head office.
Whilst 2014 looks to be a very prosperous year for us with the organisation continuing to expand, grow and transform, I think it’s important that we take this time to remember our roots also.
Independent Options was built on family values back in 1977, and we will continue to be true to our principles and beliefs, putting the families and community first, to ensure that we never lose sight of the values we started with.
For now i sign off, and leave you in the capable hands of Natasha, to keep you all updated on our news, going-ons and events.