Page 28 - Unfair-To-Care-22-23-Flipbook
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As the burden of the cost-of-living crisis has begun to weigh more heavily, Community Integrated Care has been working to expand our range
of colleague benefits, doing whatever we can
to support the financial, physical, and mental wellbeing of our 5,500-strong workforce.
Nicola Barnes is Head of People Operations for Community Integrated Care. She has seen a rise in the number of people seeking help from the increased range of colleague benefits, totalling a £170k investment from the charity
this year alone. She said: ”We are doing everything possible to help our amazing staff through these hard times and it is heart-breaking to see people who are working full-time being unable to do a grocery shop for their family because they have run out of money.”
“We know that financial instability is the catalyst for so many additional problems in people’s lives, often with a really devastating impact on their physical and mental health. That’s why our Wellbeing Fund – which provides immediate monetary grants to colleagues facing extreme financial difficulty – is at the core of our support offering. Established four years ago, we are pleased to have
been able to support many of our colleagues at some of the most stressful times they’ll ever experience.
“Helping people build a stronger long-term financial
footing is really important to us, and so we ensure that all colleagues have access to free, safe and affordable financial advice through an organisation called Salary Finance. Our partnership with Salary Finance means that, as well as financial guidance, colleagues can also access low interest rate loans, a debt consolidation service and a salary advance option, helping them to avoid the dreaded payday loan.”
Inevitably, the pressure of trying to make ends meet is
in itself an incredible strain, and that’s why Community Integrated Care has also expanded its free advice and counselling services, adding Spectrum Life, a provider of 24/7 mental health and wellbeing resources, to its range of benefits to provide free, confidential support, guidance and counselling for all aspects of personal, family and work life.
“We’ve also teamed up with Everymind at Work, our new mental health partners – which gives every colleague access to their really innovative app, with practical and proactive support and resources available 24/7 on a variety of topics.”
“Importantly, we are constantly reviewing what we can offer – within our limited financial envelope – to have
the biggest impact on our colleagues. We’ve recently changed providers of our colleague discount platform, so that our people have quicker, easier access to a better range of everyday offers and we’ve announced that we will fund membership of The Blue Light Card for every employee – a brilliant scheme offering frontline workers incredible discounts on day-to-day items and activities.”
Nicola adds: “Only the people who are living hand- to-mouth understand the pressure and stress it can inflict on every aspect of your life, so we want our colleagues to know that there is a safety net that they can rely on, whatever the issue.”
“These are ways that we can make a difference with the limited financial resources that social care providers have available. However, no matter how strong your employee support offer, it can never offset the need for fair pay.”

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