Sonia and her husband, Fatta established the Home Instead franchise office in Greenwich & Bexley in 2015. The company specialises in delivering personal care of the highest standard to the elderly. Most importantly, it also ensures that clients’ other social needs were met through companionship services.
But this was just the start of the caring couple’s journey. Before long Sonia realised that it wasn’t just the elderly who needed support – we all need some TLC!
Through her work in her local community, Sonia was introduced to a single mum and her two children by community leaders. Sarah (name changed to protect privacy) who was homeless, had no income; English was her second language.
Sonia took Sarah under her wing, ensuring she had a roof over her head and offering her a role at Home Instead. Sarah underwent Care Professional training and was a natural with a caring and compassionate nature.
This was the start of the Girl Power Employee Club in 2015. The Club aims to improve the health and wellbeing team members as well as clients, their families and the wider community.
Recognising that, through empowerment, she could really change women’s lives, Sonia has gone on to support war widows, single mums as well as other homeless individuals. Some have gone on to work in care with a meaningful role that allows them to give back to others.
Speaking about the Club, Sonia said, “I realised that we had the opportunity as a team to change people’s lives for the better. In doing so, we are also helping the care sector as we are encouraging people into the sector.
“What we have seen in Sarah and others who we have helped, they become fantastic advocates for our business and care work in general.
“A real bonus is that Sarah has gone on to support others and she is now a mentor within our business.”
One of Home Instead’s longest-standing Care Professionals joined the company through the Club which is now also supporting her daughter to take up a place at Warwick University. The Club held a fundraiser to allow her to buy essentials, from bedding to small electricals.
The Club is truly unique and now well known in the community. It is often approached to spread magic in making a difference. To date the Club has raised over £16,000 for various community projects and has set up its own charity.
Members of the Club recognised that there were many older people who would benefit from support to prevent isolation and loneliness – people who were unable to access Home Instead’s home care service.
From this the Sunday Volunteer Hub for older people was created. This is run by Home Instead every Sunday as part of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust and takes place at the Football Club.
The Girls Power team runs cooking and baking classes. Other activities include knitting, sewing and music and dance classes are a favourite.
There is also an allotment project which ran throughout the pandemic. Older people were given their own plot where they were supported to ‘grow your own’.
Sonia continued, “Home Instead’s mission is to expand the world’s capacity to care. I think that’s exactly what we are doing here in Greenwich, Bexley and surrounding areas.
“The important thing about our projects is that they empower people; everyone gets involved and is hands on and I just love that.”
The Girls Power Employee Club, registered charity Skills and Care Greenwich has been awarded an MBE Voluntary Sector for Older People in recognition for its work.
To find out more about Home Instead Greenwich & Bexley visit https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/greenwich-bexley/