Council’s Community Equipment Loan Store and Telecare Service Mutual to launch

One of City of York Council’s first social enterprise ‘spin-offs’ will officially launch next week (Tuesday 1 April).

The council’s Community Equipment Loan Store and Telecare Service (CELTAS), which provides social care equipment, Warden Call and telecare support to vulnerable residents across the city, will become a Community Interest Company from 1 April. The council will continue to have a share in the new company – ‘Be Independent’ – though the majority will be staff-owned.

The team already supports over 3,000 vulnerable people and is keen to grow and support more vulnerable people across the city, helping to make York a great place to grow old.

It’s hoped the new company will create new opportunities to expand service lines, innovate and develop partnerships to improve the quality of service and outcomes for users, as well as delivering savings of £200,000 over four years by introducing more revenue generating services.

Heather Barden, Chief Executive of the new company, said: “This is a bold step but the team are excited about the possibilities it will bring and committed to providing the best possible service for existing – and new – customers. We’re already providing a service which is highly valued by its customers and I hope that by becoming a mutual we will be able to further develop our existing offer and avoid future cuts to the service.”

For more information about CELTAS and the services it provides please contact 01904 645000.

Be Independent is not the only council service launching as a new ‘company’ this spring: The Library and Archive staff are establishing a community benefit society, majority-funded by the council but operating independently. The new mutual is to be jointly owned by staff and the community who are eligible to be voting members and to stand for election to the Board. This innovative approach has been backed by £100,000 worth of support from the Cabinet Office’s Mutuals Support Programme.

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