Dementia club gives families a break
Free business support helps Ruth set up crucial service.
There are many different motives behind new business startups. And even when financial success isn’t the primary objective, you need key business skills to succeed. Ruth Lane turned to Cool Ventures for expert guidance as she launched Forget Me Not Dementia Services.
Ruth’s dementia day care business started in response to the closure of a local service offered by a charity she worked for. Many people with dementia had been left with nowhere to go, leaving their families without any break from providing 24/7 care. As Ruth knew all too well, giving families a break enables them to continue looking after their loved ones, avoiding them having to go into a permanent care setting.
Forget Me Not provides individualised, person-centred therapeutic support for people with dementia. The day club offers a variety of activities like exercise, games, day trips, singing, and providing a nutritious meal.
Ruth says, “We have huge feedback from families who’ve seen a big difference in their loved ones and their ability to do things after attending the club – they even remember it and ask to attend again.”
The skills to keep a business viable
When it comes to dementia care, Ruth and her loyal team are experts. But while the new service isn’t about making money it still needs to be run along business lines, staying viable yet keeping prices low. To achieve these things, she needed different specialist skills: like creating a business plan, setting pricing, running a payroll, and recruiting staff. “I wanted help to put it all together in a professional way, to make my staff proud and the business stand out,” she says.
Ruth discovered the free Bath & North East Somerset Business Support Service provided by Cool Ventures and funded by the Council and West of England Combined Authority.
“I’d never run a business, and had to learn lots of lessons very quickly – that’s where Cool Ventures’ help came in. Without that, I couldn’t have done it. They made me think about things that I hadn’t even considered, like insurance and bookkeeping.” Ruth Lane
Cool Ventures advisors set up one-to-one business support meetings and helped Ruth access a business start-up grant.
Ruth says, “Sue was absolutely amazing: she made me believe I could do it. I couldn’t have asked for more, and would never be where I am now without her advice.” Cool Ventures kept in regular contact, sharing useful guidance and walking Ruth through each stage. “I felt in total control, but with someone experienced at my side,” she says.
What’s next for Forget Me Not Dementia Services?
Forget Me Not has made a great start. Now Ruth is aiming to build her team of three further by recruiting people who share the same passion for dementia care services.
“Don’t think you can do it all on your own,” she says, “An idea is a good idea if you have the people to make it happen. It’s taken the belief of Cool Ventures to get me here.”