Category: Respite

Meaningful May

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month: iBC’s Commitment to Employee Wellbeing

As we reflect on Mental Health Awareness Month, iBC is proud to reaffirm our commitment to making our workplace a supportive and nurturing environment. The well-being of our colleagues is paramount, and we are dedicated to ensuring that every team member has access to the resources and support they need to thrive both personally and professionally.

This is why we introduced IBC+, by recognising the importance of discussing mental health, and resources are readily available. Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) iBC+ is a cornerstone of this commitment. This comprehensive benefits package covers a wide range of personal and work-related challenges, ensuring that help is always within reach.

Caregiving roles can be incredibly stressful and emotionally draining, especially when supporting those with complex needs and challenging behaviour. Prioritising our colleagues mental wellbeing helps ensure that they feel supported, valued, and capable of managing the emotional toll of their work. This leads to better overall well-being, reduced burnout and maintaining our offering of high quality care and opportunities to those we support.

“This observance is a crucial opportunity for us to prioritise conversations, resources, and support around mental health in our workplace and beyond. Mental health matters, and it’s essential to prioritise it.”

Alveera Lakhani, People & Culture Advisor

iBC+ offers free and confidential access to professional counselling 24/7, complemented by the My Healthy Advantage app, which provides wellbeing tools, resources, and trackers.

Services Available Through iBC+:
  • Counselling and Therapy: Professional counselling services for emotional support and structured therapy sessions.
  • Legal Information: Guidance on legal matters, including debt management and disputes, that may cause anxiety or distress.
  • Bereavement Support: Qualified counsellors to help cope with grief and legal advisors for related matters.
  • Medical Support: Advice on various health-related issues from qualified nurses.
  • Online CBT: Self-help tools, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy modules, fact sheets, and advice videos.
  • Confidential Helpline

However, it doesn’t stop there. We understand how other personal issues and worries can be a primary result to effecting someone’s mental health. With iBC+, this supports colleagues in broader aspects of their personal life to ease and uplift their mental health. Here are other ways it supports:

Women’s Wellbeing

iBC stands by you through pregnancy loss and unsuccessful fertility treatments through enhanced bereavement or annual leave, offering free period products, health food shop and pharmacy vouchers to support menopause wellness and HRT prescriptions reimbursement. We also provide enhanced leave allowance for fertility treatments and enhanced maternity payments.

Financial Wellbeing

We focus on your financial health by ensuring you have the resources and support needed to manage your financial wellbeing effectively.

Physical Wellbeing

Our colleagues enjoy daily fruits at work to fuel your body and stay healthy, participate in our Bike to Work Scheme to commute in an eco-friendly and healthy way, and unlock exclusive savings with the Blue Light Card, which offers over 15,000 discounts from online and high street retailers. Additionally, we provide free access to Udemy courses to enhance your skills and learning.

Emotional Wellbeing

We understand the challenges of family bereavement and offer compassionate and enhanced parental bereavement leave to provide the necessary time, space, and support to heal. iBC+ includes compassionate leave, enhanced parental bereavement leave, and payment support for pregnancy loss and unsuccessful fertility treatment. Experience our enhanced paternity payments to support your family stress-free.

Empowering a Supportive Workplace

Our initiatives to foster a happy and supportive workplace are designed to empower all employees to #Doamazingeveryday. By embracing personal journeys and challenges with compassion and understanding, we create an environment where everyone can succeed.

“Our efforts to nurture an understanding and compassionate workplace, supporting life’s ups and downs, reducing stress, and prioritising our colleagues’ mental wellbeing, are in support and advocacy of Mental Health Awareness Month.”

Ebony Staite, Referrals & Partnership Manager

Join the Conversation

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, we encourage everyone to engage in conversations about mental health and utilise the resources available. Whether it’s through resources available or simply speaking with a colleague, prioritising mental health helps us all to maintain the amazing work we do. To help initiate this, take a look at the Meaningful May calendar below on ways to improve your own wellness and those around you.

A Future of Wellbeing

As we move forward, iBC remains dedicated to the mental well-being of our team. By prioritizing conversations, providing essential resources, and fostering a supportive environment, we ensure that everyone at iBC can continue to excel and feel valued.

Let’s make Mental Health Awareness week a time of reflection, support, and growth. Together, we can create a workplace where mental health is prioritized, and every colleague feels supported in their journey.

iBC Celebrates 1,000 Employees!

iBC are thrilled to share that we have recently reached a significant achievement of 1,000 employees!

This milestone is testament to everyone’s invaluable contribution particularly over the past 2 years. Whereby, we have been able to extend our offering further afield to support more vulnerable people across the county; presenting many more career opportunities to both new and existing colleagues. It is thanks to all departments that we have been able to create these new career pathways, recruit, train, induct and develop the many talented individuals across iBC today.

“As we celebrate the remarkable achievement of reaching 1,000 employees at iBC Healthcare, we recognise that it’s not just a numerical milestone, but a testament to the collective passion of our teams. With each member contributing their unique talents, we continue to redefine the landscape of specialist care. Not only has the growth of IBC welcomed new individuals, but has presented incredible professional development opportunities for existing colleagues, all of which have been extremely deserving. Together, we offer not just support, but the transformative care individuals with complex needs deserve. With every meaningful interaction, iBC colleagues continue to enhance people’s lives, offer the best possible opportunities and #doamazingeveryday.

What truly sets iBC Healthcare apart is our collective commitment to our shared values. Every colleague within iBC, from SLT members and local managers to support staff and administrators, work collaboratively towards realising our mission and upholding our core principles.

Over the last year we have made significant commitments to colleagues such as paying the “Real Living Wage”, the roll out of iBC + and focusing our efforts in ensuring inclusive, happy workspaces.

“Reaching 1,000 employees is a significant milestone, one I’m proud to have contributed to. When I started as an HR Business Partner, our headcount was 300. Now, just two years later, we stand at 1,000 strong, and I’ve had the privilege of advancing to Director of People & Culture during this period of successful growth. This achievement also speaks volumes about the hard work and dedication of my team and my colleagues unwavering support and collaboration. I’m thrilled about the future and the continued growth we will achieve together.”

Jenny Payne now Chief Operating Officer of iBC Healthcare!

iBC are thrilled to announce the appointment of Jenny Payne as COO Chief Operating Officer for iBC Healthcare. 🧡

Jenny joined iBC 2 years ago with a wealth of Commercial and Operational experience in the specialist care sector. Jenny has been at the forefront of iBC’s incredible journey so far and continues to drive the highest standard of bespoke services for the people we support, and a happy working environment for iBC colleagues. We are delighted to share this news!

“As we embark on this new chapter together, I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I have no doubt that with our collective expertise, creativity, and determination, we will continue to achieve great things and make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people we support.”

Jenny Payne

#doamazingeveryday

New Development Journey 2023

As we draw 2023 to a close, we are proud to take a look back at the last 12 months and the impact our journey has had on others 🧡

We truly believe that designing the right environment is half the battle in offering the best possible opportunities in the community, to people with complex care and support needs. These properties, combined with the incredible work from our Operational Teams – enables us to offer the support that people need and deserve, in homes for life. No matter how complex their needs may be 🏡

iBC Long-term Service Awards

iBC recently held a Long-term Service Lunch and Award celebration hosted by Managing Director Brendan Kelly and Director of People and Culture Harika Thogarcheti, to honor all colleagues who have served and supported our services and the people we support for ten years and above. We also thanked Nizam Bata ACCA for his exceptional leadership over the decade.

Thank you to:

Michelle Rushin – 29 Years
Tina Marchington – 22 Years
Grace Musarurwa – 21 Years
Wendy Leslie – 19 Years
Rebecca Bond – 18 Years
Karen Dowling – 17 Years
Paul Millington – 16 Years
Kathleen Turner – 15 Years
Donna Adams – 15 Years
Diana Wallace – 15 Years
Elaine Hackett – 14 Years
Ana Eaton – 14 Years
David Percival – 13 Years 
Kirsty Edden – 13 Years 
Rupa Dattani – 11 Years
Balbinder Nagara – 10 Years
Farida Bata – 10 Years
Sarah Way – 10 Years

“We had a total of 240 years of loyalty to iBC Healthcare around the table – which certainly put my 1 year anniversary into perspective! This group have positively impacted the lives of countless people we support, not to mention the mentorship, training and support they’ve given to the hundreds of new colleagues who have joined us during their careers.

A really powerful reminder of the importance of creating a culture that enables people to feel safe, valued and recognised for their hard work and dedication.”

Brendan Kelly, iBC Managing Director

#wedoamazingeveryday

Baby Loss Awareness & Women’s Wellbeing

This week, we are standing in unity with countless families and communities to recognise #BabyLossAwarenessWeek. It’s a time to come together, remember, reflect, and support those touched by the heart-breaking experience of losing a child.

Baby Loss Awareness Week is from the 9th – 15th of October and iBC will wear pink and blue throughout the week to show solidarity. We’re also setting up a “Stars of Remembrance ” wall at our services as a tribute, creating a space for us to remember the babies lost and allowing colleagues to show their support. On 15 October at 7.00pm, we will light a candle for the global wave of light event in support and remembrance.

In conjunction with Baby Loss Awareness Week, iBC have also announced a new employee benefits package supporting our colleagues’ overall health and well-being with a particular focus on women’s well-being. The iBC + benefits package is part of our ongoing efforts to nurture a compassionate and empathetic workspace.

We invite everyone to join the conversation and be a part of these meaningful causes this week. Let’s shine a light on the importance of understanding, support, and unity.

In line of our aims to raise awareness, we have heard from various iBC colleagues, who have shared their journeys with courage and grace, hoping to offer solace to others who have walked the same path.

Kerry’s Story – #BabyLossAwarenessWeek

It’s often the silent stories that hold the deepest emotions. Our colleague has courageously shared an experience that many hesitate to speak about: baby loss. She has shared her journey with courage and grace, hoping to offer solace to others who have walked the same path.

“18th March 2018, the day we woke up and knew something was wrong, our world instantly shattered. Those words “there’s no heartbeat” is something no parent wants to hear.

Then having to tell our two children we wouldn’t be coming home with a baby was heartbreaking. 

I felt isolated like we were the only ones going through it.

And then the financial worry, I didn’t qualify for maternity leave with my former employer, and how was I going to navigate time off on SSP? I only had 5 weeks off work.

From my experience, I want to support any women/parents going through loss and let them know, that their feelings are valid and to take each day as it comes. You won’t forget them, but time is a healer!”

Kerry Mannix – Your voice and dedication helped shape our women’s wellbeing initiative on pregnancy loss. Your involvement has made a real difference!

We’ve proudly signed the #miscarriageassociation pregnancy loss pledge, reinforcing our commitment to support during life’s tough moments.

Zainab’s Story  #DomesticAbuseAwareness

“No, I’m not a victim.

That’s what I said to myself when I came to understand the definition of what I experienced in my marriage was domestic abuse. But he didn’t hit me – words from almost every victim of non-physical domestic abuse.

This was undoubtedly one of my life’s most challenging chapters and was even more complicated when I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. I don’t wear victimhood, that implies something was taken from me. I traded my trauma for wisdom.

The journey of healing isn’t linear; it wasn’t just about mending what’s broken; it was about rediscovering and redefining. This path demanded a new version of me, it was filled with moments of clarity and bouts of uncertainty, discovering deep self-awareness, courage and resilience, refining coping skills and finding meaning in pain.

I kept going no matter the pace with therapy and self-care, in discovering the new word of the range ‘no’, boundaries became invitations not limitations, and glimmers became hope. Because before self-love becomes a liberation it is first a burden. The anger that you were treated poorly and didn’t know to ask for better treatment, the grief for lost time, the isolation and loneliness rebuilding piece by piece the version of me as I stand today beyond surviving; unapologetically thriving.

Providing psychological safety, spotting the signs, and being understanding, supportive and flexible during these turbulent times can provide survivors stability and safety.”

Zainab Sarwar – Your voice and dedication helped shape our women’s wellbeing initiative on providing safety and protection from abuse. We appreciate your meaningful contribution!

We are committed to providing support for employees impacted by domestic abuse by spreading awareness of ways to spot the signs, sharing essential resources, signposting for professional help and providing a flexible, safe, supportive environment.

Sharni’s Story – #NationalFertilityAwareness

“In 2016, I was diagnosed with damaged fallopian tubes. Despite surgery, I was told I couldn’t conceive naturally. This broke me into a million pieces. I faced intense despair, but my husband’s support became my beacon of hope.

Following the diagnosis, I picked myself up, and we opted for IVF. However, just before egg collection at a Nottingham clinic, I was diagnosed with Hydrosalpinx and had to undergo surgery to remove both tubes.

In 2017, our NHS IVF round resulted in a chemical pregnancy. After switching clinics and funding the treatments ourselves, our 3rd attempt in 2018 was unsuccessful. Yet, by late 2018, our 4th attempt, fortune smiled upon us. We welcomed our son in April 2019. now 4 years old and started school this year, we are extremely proud. I am beyond blessed.

We always wanted a sibling for Ruben as he is such a social and kind boy. After an embryo transfer in November 2022, we experienced a heartbreaking loss at 6 ½ weeks, it wasn’t the Christmas we imagined. My husband was amazing and cannot thank him enough for been my absolute rock slash punching bag. We took a little break, but we didn’t want to give up, losing our baby just made us more determined for it to work for us again.

In March 2023, we tried another embryo transfer. Now, I’m 30 weeks pregnant with a girl, but it’s been a rollercoaster — from severe morning sickness to health complications. At 26 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, altering my birth plan. By 29 weeks, I was diagnosed with Prenatal depression.

My husband has been there every step of the way and after everything we are stronger than ever and I couldn’t imagine a better Daddy to our two beautiful babies and our angel baby. Not long till our Rainbow baby is in our arms.”

Sharni Penny – Your voice and dedication helped shape our women’s wellbeing initiative on the fertility journey. Thank you for making an impact!

iBC+ includes support for employees with flexible paid time off during the journey of fertility treatments which helps to prioritise well-being in the path to parenthood

Vanice’s Story – #MenopauseInTheWorkplacePledge

“Being a woman is amazing. I love being me. I am a happy go lucky person, I love life. 

However, over the last 6 months my life has changed dramatically having to deal with this newfound enemy that has attached itself to my body in the form of Menopause. 

I have often heard people talk about menopause and sometimes I have been in the midst of people who are going through it. I used to smile at them as they were fanning themselves in an ice-cold room. Over the last 6 months that smile has been wiped away from my face as I now face the same struggle. 

Going through the menopause is not easy. You have mood swings, you have pains, there even some days when you do not want to get up. There are also hot and cold flushes that constantly ravish your body. So, I am happy and grateful that iBC has now implemented this wellbeing for women who are going through all different issues in their body”

Vanice Ricketts – Your genuine care and dedication helped to shape our women’s well-being initiative on menopause. Your involvement has made a real difference!

We’ve proudly signed the menopause workplace pledge with #wellbeingofwomen, because we recognise menopause is an issue in the workplace and women need support

Shan’s Story – #MenstruationInTheWorkplace

Juggling your duties at work while managing period challenges is a quiet reality for many. Below is a spotlight of an employee’s experience of having open, safe conversations and the challenges of periods amidst work tasks.

“As an employee of IBC, I feel so privileged and appreciated to be a part of a company that cares about my wellbeing. Being a woman and dealing with menstruation, I have faced many challenges. Dealing with everyday tasks and duties, while competing with severe pain, hormones, and mood swings is exhausting. When I feel like curling up into a ball and forgetting everything that’s going on around me, I carry on but am expected not to complain. 

In previous times, I felt I could not open up about my emotions and pain. In IBC, I receive a wide range of emotional and wellbeing support from my colleagues I feel supported whenever I need it.”

Shan Reid – Your voice and dedication helped shape our women’s wellbeing initiative on free period products. Your influence has been truly valuable!

We’re offering free period products in the workplace! We believe in empowering women to prioritise their well-being. By providing these essentials, we aim to create an environment where every woman feels valued and supported.

These stories shared by our colleagues, reflecting their personal battles, have touched us deeply. Recognising the profound effects of life’s struggles we’re not just listening – we’re acting. Our commitment to foster change has been exemplified in the launch of the iBC+ benefits package. These have been crafted to offer support during such challenging times, and the positive embrace from our colleagues has been both heartfelt and deeply resonating with our values of empathy and support.

Transforming Care Managers Event

Last week, iBC Healthcare held the first ever managers meeting centred around Transforming Care. With a need now more than ever before for suitable accommodation with specialist care and support, providing individuals with complex needs their home for life.

It is widely recognised that for most autistic people or people with a learning disability, care in an inpatient unit is rarely helpful – in fact, it can be deeply damaging. Wards can be noisy, bright and unpredictable. Without reasonable adjustments to the environment, and support from a professional who understands autism and how to adapt care, it can be overwhelming, particularly if you have profound sensitivity to sound, touch and light. It can increase someone’s level of distress, which can lead to further restrictions and make it even harder to move to support in the community. The average length of stay is around five and a half years. And we continue to hear alarming cases of overmedication, seclusion and unnecessary restraint.  

iBC colleagues discussed their pledge and commitment towards the contribution in supporting our five pillars of working in line with the programme and our journey towards this so far.

People we support are offered high quality care and accommodation within their local community wherever possible. Out of county placements are unfortunately very common due to lack of suitable accommodation needs, meaning that families and circles of support often have to travel for hours to see their loved ones. This also prevents Individuals to maintain vital clinical wraparound support from local teams who know them well, contributing significantly to the deterioration of a person’s presentation and lead to placement breakdown, which as we know often then leads to hospital re-admission.

Everything we do is designed to help the individuals we support to succeed and thrive, so they can enjoy everyday life and the freedom and rewards of living in a community environment.

This was a great day and the opportunity proved vital in sharing good practices, knowledge base and creative thinking around how we do and will continue to #achievetheunachieveable.

Managing Director Brendan Kelly said: “It was a genuine privilege to attend our Manager’s Meeting last week; a room full of dedicated, passionate and talented people, all focused on the same goals – to create a great place to work and provide the very best standard of care and support across our Day, Residential and Supported Living Services. I ask my colleagues to #doamazingeveryday – and they do, with enthusiasm, passion and relentless hard work”

#LDWEEK23

This year is all about busting myths about living life with a learning disability.

In support of Mencap and Learning Disability Week 2023, we stand to highlight the incredible things that people with learning disabilities can achieve, breaking barriers associated to the misconception and stigma many people still face every day.

During the last 100 years, there have been substantial changes in the ways people with a Learning Disability are seen and treated. By living with a Learning Disability in the 1950s for example, you will have been “treated” with electric shock therapy, locked away from family and friends, segregated from your community, received behavioural “correction” and subjected to derogatory language we wouldn’t dream of using today. Although times have significantly changed, sadly people are still locked away from their community with limited communication with their circles of support. People are still denied the opportunity to explore their skills, wishes and goals; because these outcomes are often unfairly labelled as unrealistic and due to lack of suitable accommodation and support to safely work towards these achievements.

iBC’s mission is to provide specialist accommodation in local communities, to enable access to crucial wraparound support services and remain close to their circles of support. iBC are passionate about people having the best opportunities regardless of their disabilities. We support people to not only reach their potential, but exceed it – achieving the “unachievable”.

#homesnothospitals#wedoamazingeveryday

Mencap is a British charity organization that gives advice and practical help to people who have learning difficulties, and their families and carers. Mencap also supports changes in the law that will help these people, and works with the Government and other disability organisations to make sure disabled people’s experiences are reflected in UK policy making. Welcome to our website! | Mencap

iBC Inhouse Training

Dan Wade smashing it again, delivering brilliant in house training to our newest cohort, who have recently joined the iBC family!

All of our staff teams are trained in CPI Safety Intervention, Autism, bespoke person-centred training, active support, and where needed any further training which are all focused in reducing negative stress, teaching coping strategies, developing primary and secondary prevention strategies, and promoting independence and positive quality of life.

In 2022, iBC Healthcare successfully created 332 job opportunities across the Midlands! Each receiving an inhouse induction, to support in the delivery of our mission …

To provide person centered, specialist care and accommodation, enabling people with complex care needs to live a full and meaningful life in the community.