A North Shields Supported Living business that supports people with learning Disabilities and Autism has received a national award for the way it looks after its employees.
Orbis Support provides supported living for disabled adults with learning disabilities who wish to live in their own homes. Their work supports people to live and be part of their community, playing an active and positive role supported by well-trained, well paid and well-supported staff.
The company, who now have more than 180 staff have been awarded the prestigious “2021 People’s Choice Award” from the Living Wage Foundation which celebrates individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the Living Wage Movement.
Managing Director Nigel Devine has always put a heavy emphasis on looking after his team. After a lifelong career in care with the NHS and local authorities he set up Orbis Support in 2016 and right from the start he decided to put his staff first.
“Too many people in the care sector are paid the minimum wage which can lead to a high turnover of staff which can then potentially have an impact on the care given to the end-user.
“Many of my staff have been with us since day one and that is because they are valued not only in monetary terms but also by other benefits and working conditions,” he said.
”Making sure that my team is fairly rewarded has always been one of my priorities.”
However, it’s not only his staff that Nigel looks after as he also has an active social value conscience for his business.
“Our business is in the heart of North Shields and the surrounding communities. Whenever we can we help local charities and good causes as it’s the right thing to do.”
In recent months, Nigel and his team have helped a local community organisation by donating money for hot meals for families, created hampers for vulnerable people and sponsored several community music initiatives.
With an “outstanding” report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and contracts with local authorities and the NHS, Nigel is looking to expand his staffing levels even further.
“We are always interested in talking to people with the right qualities to join our team and once here we find that they stay with us. I’m delighted that we have won this award but not only for myself but for my team who really do care about our clients which is reflected in our growing reputation and client base.
“In this industry, if you look after your team, everyone benefits but the most important people to do so are those that we care for,” he said.