Published: April 26, 2022
Region: North West
A businesswoman who has helped hundreds of vulnerable young people by providing quality accommodation, education and crisis support has opened a new residential care home thanks to seven-figure social care funding from Unity Trust Bank.
Gillian Ashcroft, Director of Exceptional Care Limited, which is based in Ormskirk, has added Cedar House in Leyland to her portfolio, alongside properties in the Southport, Lathom, Rainford, Skelmersdale and Tarleton.
The company, which provides safe environments for young people requiring long-term social care as well as short term adventure service placements, manages six Ofsted-regulated homes and has a further two going through the registration process.
Gillian said: “Our properties provide safe, homely environments for young people who need support. They are well-maintained and decorated to the same high standards that I would have in my own family home.
“I have had lots of businesses over the years, but they sometimes left me feeling empty. In 2014, I set up Exceptional Care Limited because I wanted to do something that would make a difference and have an impact.
“I wanted an outcome, and there’s no better feeling than when a young person tells me that we have helped to change their life for the better.”
In 2018 Gillian also set up Sky Recruitment and Care Services Ltd, a specialist care recruitment agency, and Think Tank Academy Ltd, the UK’s first accredited training and qualifications provider in health and social care which also holds monthly webinars with key partners to raise awareness of the issues affecting the sector.
Gillian said: “I chose to bank with Unity because of my relationship manager Michael Wicks. Michael saw the vision I had and was passionate about it.
“Unity ticks a lot of boxes for me. We have the same ethos and outlook; theirs is a corporate one and mine is a personal one but we’re both on the same page.
“We’re doing business in the right way, in the right sector. Unity’s social care funding is helping my business to grow, and this is having a direct impact on young people.”
The Exceptional Care group employs more than 170 people and Cedar House has created 10 new jobs, as well as four additional bed spaces.
Local authorities from all over the country refer young people to Exceptional Care, some from as far afield as Scotland and the Ise of Man, and all the homes are rated either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Michael Wicks, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “There is huge demand for Ofsted-regulated accommodation for young people and rightly so.
“At Unity we support organisations that deliver a real and lasting benefit to local communities and Gillian and her team are doing just that; providing the best possible support for young people and boosting the economy through the creation of jobs.”
Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘Think Tank Academy’ to view the free webinars.