Since we started operating in 2014, Natalie and I have always worked within our service as well as managing the service. Although at times this could be challenging juggling different roles, looking back I really feel that it helped us grow and develop as professionals. It meant that we were able to ensure the care and support we gave was always person centred and it was wonderful to be able to get to know not just our clients but their families too.

All of our clients have had an impact on the way we deliver our service today and we are incredibly thankful to each and every one of them for being a part of the Rainbow Care Group’s journey.

At the end of 2017 we had begun to offer a 1-1 activity service for people in their own homes and at the beginning of 2018 we started supporting a client who would go on to inspire us to expand our service even further.

When I arrived at the address, a lovely young looking lady answered the door to me, her hair was styled beautifully and she just exuded character and charisma. ‘Hi babe’ she said to me, smiling and ushering me in. We went through to the lounge where the ladies daughter was sat waiting. We spent a while chatting about Ann’s situation and although she was happy talking, it was clear that Ann did not want any help from us. It was the ladies daughter who wanted to organise some social support for her mum as she lived away in London. She was a very independent lady and always had been, living alone with her dog Tilly and I was very respectful of that, explaining that it was for peace of mind for her daughter and company for her.

I remember the first day I visited following the assessment, we went out for a walk with Tilly in the local park. Ann was very physically fit and I spent most of the walk trying to keep up with her. We spent the walk finding out more about each other and engaging in really great conversation. Ann’s background in drama shone through and I enjoyed the time I spent with her, hearing all about her life.

Myself and Natalie in particular developed a really strong relationship with Ann over the next few months. We were there as a support for her but it was more than that. It was a mutual respect. A friendship. We ensured that Ann carried on doing the things that were important to her and we had a lot of fun! Looking back now, I know that we helped bring a sense of meaning and purpose to Ann’s life but it also worked the other way round and the impact she had on our lives is huge.

As Ann deteriorated, we increased our visits as much as we could and really tried to work with Ann’s daughter to create a package of support that could change and adapt as Ann needed. Ann wanted to stay with her dog and Ann’s daughter did everything she could to keep them together at home. As Ann’s needs changed, another company had to be introduced into Ann’s support package as we did not run a personal care and homecare service.

This is what inspired and prompted us to set up the Rainbow Care Group and introduce our own homecare service. We would be able to support people all the way through their journey. Although we were still a huge part of Ann’s care, I personally felt that we were letting her down as we could not provide every aspect. Ann had grown close to all of our team and we wished that we could have done it all without having to introduce new people to ensure continuity for Ann, however, luckily things worked out ok and everyone did their best for her.

Just over 18 months after that first memorable meeting our friend Ann passed away peacefully, at home, with her dog Tilly close by. When Ann’s daughter called to give us the news, we went to say goodbye. We shared memories and laughed about some of the great times we had spent with such an unforgettable woman. She was at peace now.

In loving memory of Ann Pearson

30.4.1945 – 19.8.2019

‘Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’ William Shakespeare