About Us

An introduction to Solo Support Services from our late founder, Nicola Kirk née Darby:

In 2010 my partner and I started to explore the alternatives to the traditional domiciliary care agency commissioned to provide his care.  Stephen was deeply unhappy with the service, which was inflexible and unable to facilitate the care and support needed to ‘live' a purposeful and meaningful life!   Fortunately Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust and In-Control were piloting personal health budgets and we were both invited on to the steering group committee as service user and carer representatives, we finally went ‘live' after a year of planning and much negotiation!

For this very reason Solo Support Services has been created to fill what we think is a gap in third party arrangements.  Our biggest stumbling block was finding a provider that fulfilled the criteria of NHS Continuing Care Commissioners but gave Stephen complete choice and control over the delivery of his care and support package.  Their priority was the provider organisation was registered with the Care Quality Commission, committed to clinical governance and the legal employer of the care team, whereas Stephen had different priorities.  He was looking for complete transparency of the financial resources available, a separate client bank account to hold the personal health budget as well as the autonomy to make decisions about who supported him and when... amongst many other things! 

Whilst we are relatively new to health and social care we are confident that Solo Support Services can bring a fresh and innovative approach to the facilitation of personal health budgets and individual budgets.  I am educated to postgraduate level and have extensive senior management experience, having worked within human resources for the past 10 years, the past 4 years at Associate Director level within a retail and customer service environment.  This combined with our own, less than favourable, experiences of traditional domiciliary care agencies means I am fully committed to working with clients and their families to achieve outcomes that are meaningful to them. 

Click on our video to hear more...

 

 

Click here to view our promotional leaflet. Feel free to download this, we will also gladly post a leaflet out to you upon request.

 

 

Our Vision

At Solo, we want to create equal opportunities for all. It's about giving choice and control to individuals and their families, putting the decision making firmly in their hands. By doing this, we believe that anything is possible.

 

Our Purpose

If you, or a family member, need domiciliary services at home you're sure to want maximum control and choice. It's our aim to provide a real alternative to help you achieve this. We're here to help those who've chosen self-directed support to manage their personal health budget or their individual budget. We have a full range of options to help you to find the right level of support, with real value for money by only paying for services you need.

 

Our Values

When you work with us you'll always get a professional, positive service that's tailored directly to you and your individual circumstances. We'll always:

1. Respect that you are the client and have control

2. Listen to what you want, offering a positive, can-do approach to find solutions for you and your family

3. Commit ourselves to you and do whatever it takes to help you live life the way you want

4. Be responsive and enthusiastic, making time for you, your family and your staff

5. Take a friendly, approachable attitude, and be open to both good and bad feedback

6. Adopt a practical, common-sense approach to health and safety and risk enablement

7. Provide an ethical and transparent pricing and financial reporting structure

8. Challenge and confront complacency and the apathetic attitude of 'that will do'

9. Avoid bureaucracy wherever we can, making all of our policies and procedures meaningful and relevant to your circumstances

10. Support your decision making to whatever extent you want

 

Click here to read our Statement of Purpose

 

Emily Dennett

Emily Dennett

Operations Manager

BSc Hons Psychology. Accredited Moving and Handling Trainer / Assessor.

What made you want to work for Solo?

Having previously worked on one of the original personal health budget pilot schemes, I have a long history and belief in personalisation and personal budgets. I passionately believe in Solo Support Services' model and approach to promoting choice and control. When Nicola set up the company I was delighted to be given the opportunity to be able to help individuals to access their own personal budget.

What do you bring to Solo?

I bring both passion and expertise. I have supported a large number of individuals to set up their own personal (health) budgets. My background in personalisation means I bring an expertise in self directed support and personal health budgets.

Interests:

I'm very active. I love running, cycling and long walks in the country side. I enjoy travelling and exploring new places, I'm always planning my next adventure. I'm a keen cook and can often be found experimenting in the kitchen at weekends. I love all animals and have a number of pets, including a rescue dog that demands a lot of love and attention.

 

Helen Brown

Business Manager

BA (Hons) Communication Studies

What made you want to work for Solo?

I had known Nicola for many years and had always admired her drive and ambition. When the opportunity arose to work for Solo I jumped at the chance to join an innovative new business to develop the administration systems and work in such a positive environment. 

I love the fact that our clients really do decide on and determine their outcomes; it's not just a marketing gimmick!

What do you bring to Solo?

I bring over ten years experience in customer focused roles, working with clients and suppliers worldwide.

Interests:

I have two young boys who keep me very busy and entertained. When they do allow me some free time, I enjoy keeping fit by running or swimming, as well as seeing friends for the odd glass of red wine!

 

 Nicola Barnard - Finance Manager

Nicola Barnard

Finance Manager

BA Hons Accounting and Finance. Charted Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

What made you want to work for Solo?

Having previously worked for a large multinational company, I really wanted to work for a smaller company where my accounts role could be more varied. When I met Nicola and Helen at my first interview I just knew that this would be the small and friendly environment that I was looking for, and that coming to work every day would be something different. I was very excited about Nicola's passion for Solo and felt that I wanted to be a part of it. Nicola was also very understanding about my requirements to work part time so that I can enjoy time with my daughter.

What do you bring to Solo?

I have 10 years accounting experience working for both small and multinational companies. My all round experience provides Solo with the knowledge and expertise to maintain the Clearbooks accounting function and guide users, enabling them to have more choice, flexibility and control of the health services and care the recieve.

Interests: 

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my two daughters. We spend many weekends visiting family in North Yorkshire since relocating to Nottinghamshire. I enjoy walking my dog, which often involves passing the pub for a refreshing drink! 



Debbie Saunders - Client Relations Manager

Debbie Saunders

Operations Manager - Maternity Cover

B Nursing

What made you want to work for Solo?

On a personal level, being friends with Nicola and her partner Stephen and knowing them for over 20 years, made me want to work for Solo.

When Stephen had his accident I really did wonder how they were going to carry on with their full life of work and play. Nicola's energy and dedication helped them to surpass so many huge negative hurdles along the way, and ensured that they got to a stage where their outcomes were met and they were able to carry on their lives as they once had. I feel that we are able to help many other people in similar difficult situations, who are unaware that this is possible.

We are here to make a difference to people's lives. Meeting new people with the knowledge that Solo can help them is great and it is a challenge for me to prove that everyone's outcomes can be met.

What do you bring to Solo?

I bring professionalism, compassion and a caring attitude. 

Interests:

I love spending time with my family and watching my children develop. I take a keen interest in all things related to health. I enjoy sport, particularly netball and swimming, as well as watching my husband play cricket.

 

Steph Willbye - Client Relations Manager 

Steph Willbye

Assistant Operations Manager

General Dental Council Registered Dental Nurse NEBDN, AAT Accountancy Level 2, Level 2 Core Counselling Skills

What made you want to work for Solo?

Having met with Nicola and learnt about Solo Support Services, I had an instant desire to be a part of the team. I am a very kind and caring person, so seeing and learning about the stories where Solo have changed the lives of our clients for the better, made me feel passionate about the role. I love being able to help and support others to achieve their goals and dreams, by having personalised choice and control. I get great satisfaction from knowing that I've put my time and energy in to helping others.

What do you bring to Solo?

Having worked within NHS and Private Dental as a Dental Nurse and Practice Manager, my skill set of working with people enables me to bring a kind and caring approach to peoples views and opinions. I am passionate about my role and have the desire to help others.

Interests:

I enjoy keeping fit, going to music festivals and travelling to new places. I love eating out and socialising with friends and family.

 

Debbie Russell - Client Relations Manager

Debbie Russell

Senior Client Relations Manager

National Advocacy Qualification. Advocacy (IMHA). Level 3 (NAQ) in Independent Mental Health. 

What made you want to work for Solo?

When I first met Nicola Darby I was in my role as mental health advocate. Her passion for wanting to support people with personal health budgets was immediately apparent. Nicola's personal experiences and struggles to receive the correct care for her partner pulled on my heart strings, and this was something that I could relate to as I had entered my role as an advocate due to my son's experience with mental health services. I too wanted to make a difference, by supporting people with similar experiences. 

When the opportunity arose to join the team at Solo, I knew immediately that this was something that I wanted to do. I now feel I am truly part of an extended family who are all providing a supporting role together.

What do you bring to Solo?

I am a conscientious and passionate person. I will always endeavour to complete tasks, whether small or large, to the best of my ability.

Interests:

I enjoy socialising and meals out. I like holidaying with family and particularly enjoy visiting Cornwall.

 

Roisin Burton

Roisin Burton

Client Relations Manager

BA (Hons) Learning Disabilities; SocSci (open), Social Sciences & Psycology, NNED in early Childhood Education

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

I discovered Solo through researching the different options that are available to people to give them maximum control over every aspect of their lives. I very much identified with Solo's model and could see how much it can make a difference to how person led support can optimize the outcomes for people. I really wanted to work for a company that shares the same values that I have: and enable me to help others by working in this appraoch. i am passionate about person cerntered practice and working for Solo will help me to make the difference for people which I strive for.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I bring to Solo my commitment to improving people's lives by working in a person-centred way, determination, professionalism and a facilitator of good communications and as a link to collaborating with others. I bring my experience of working with children and adults in a number of fields and in different settings, I have worked within the private and charitable sectors and independently. I have energy and enthusiasm to promte and deliver personalisation for people to regain and maintain control over their lives.

Interests:

I am very much interested in future research into learning disabilities and human rights and enjoy reading articles and literature and following new approaches that are developing. I continue to study at Masters level in the area of Health Informatics. I have three children and most of my spare time is spent with my family - I have two boys that are keen tennis players and compete nationally and a daughter studying vetinary medicine. I love cats! I am a supporter of a local animal sanctuary. I also have a passion for dancing and have done since I was a child. I continue to dance at national level which keeps me fit and active. I really love cakes too!!

CRM

Michelle Blackshaw

Client Relations Manager

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People Services.

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

I have worked in health and social care settings for 17 years. I have been looking for a role that allows me to be involved in implementing services that are needed but at the same time wanted. To be able to offer a more person centred approach to individuals needing care is massively important to me as I have seen how difficult it is for individuals to achieve this. I believe people should be able to have a say in who they have in their home to assist them and I want to be a part of that. I like Solo's attitude towards choice and control and how they value each individual, its definately a path I will enjoy walking down hand in hand with Solo.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I am a hard working, dedicated individual and enjoy working as part of a wider team. I always aim to complete tasks to the best of my ability and am a strong believer in the importance of good customer relations. I have vast experience and knowledge of all aspects of health and social care, especially risk assessments and I like to adopt a 'can do' attitude when completing tasks. I am friendly and outgoing while being approachable and able to communicate with people in the most appropriate way individually.

Interests

Most of my spare time is spent with my family. We enjoy day trips out to the beach, the countryside or anywhere that we have not been before. I like to travel and hope to be able to see as much of the world as possible. We have many different pets that take our time and attention, including snakes, tarantulas and a few cute and furry ones too. My friends and I enjoy eating out and meeting up regularly to have fun and relax together.

 

Emma Southall

Emma Southall

Client Relations Manager

BA Hons Human Services. Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young Peoples Services.

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

Having worked in the health and social care sector for several years, both within smaller and larger companies, I value individual's rights to be supported by whom they choose to and a support package designed around each individual which offers a person-cerntered appraoch at all times. Solo's attitude towards choice and control mirrors my values and beliefs and to support individuals achieve their goals and ambitions (no matter how big or small) is something that I thrive for.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I have experience of managing a range of complex cases to ensure a person centered approach is delievered at all times. I am committed to providing a high level of service, whilst maintaining communication at all times. My skill set brings a vast knowledge to Solo whilst maintaining a professional, friendly approach.

Interests:

I enjoy travelling and seeing new places, keeping fit and spending time socialing with my family and friends.

 

Vanessa Spence

HR Advisor

Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Development

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

Learning more about how Solo has developed over the years with the values and aspirations is what attraxted me to this position. Making a difference to an organisation and the people within it motivates me. Surely I'm not bias working in HR and believing people make an organisation great! I am looking forward to support Solo's ambitions and developing a HR partnership.

What do you bring to Solo?

I have previous experience working in social care from a HR perspective and I can honestly say this was a very rewarding time in my career. To have the opportunity to return back to the sector my aim is to use the varied years of experience i have to help shape and deliver a great service.

Interests:

Health and wellbeing is a passion of mine and have, in the past, taken part in charity events and obstacle courses to keep me fit.

 

 

Suzanne Eaton

PA / Senior Admin Assistant

NVQ Business Administration

What made you want to work for Solo?

Having had a stroke in 2013, I understand how important having the right support is. I was fortunate that I had such a quick recovery, but it left me wanting to help make sure the right help and support is out there for everyone.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I have 16 years experience in working various Administration jobs. I'm a hard worker and like to help those in need. Using my own personal experience with a disability, I can really empathise and support those who come to Solo.

Interests:

I love to be kept busy and spending time with my family, taking my daughter horse riding and enjoying the outdoors.

Sonia Stecko

Sonia Stecko

Office Administrator

What made you want to work for Solo?

I love helping people, when I got the opportunity to work here I jumped at the chance. It's nice to have a rewarding job and be part of a great team.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I have worked in customer facing rolls for the past few years and feel that I have a good understanding of giving great customer service. I'm a hard worker and work well on my own as well as part of a team.

Interests:

In my spare time I love spending time with my demanding dog Pongo, I love exploring the countryside with him and my friends. I also have a passion for photography and it is my dream to one day go travelling and photograph different parts of the world.

Nicola Ward

Payroll Manager

CIPP Diploma in Payroll Management - Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals

What made you want to work for Solo?

Having always previously worked for large manufacturing companies, I like the idea of working for a smaller non-manufaturing company. I felt at ease throughout my interview and knew that Solo was going to be a nice place to work

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I bring with me over 15 years of experience working within a payroll position in both Finance and HR environments. Responsible for processing, reporting, testing and implementation of mutiple payrolls, working to tight deadlines.

Interests

I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family and friends, and we can often be found taking part in charity events, most recently a 5K with inflatables! I also love to travel, especially on shopping weekends with my daughter.

Rochelle Leake

Rochelle Leake

Third Party Payroll Administrator

RSA Typing Level 1,2 and 3. Years of administrative and secretarial experience working in various different offices.

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

I thought it seemed such a lovely place to work when I came for my interview and I wanted to work for a Company that made a difference to people's lives.

What do you bring to Solo?

I can bring years of office and customer service experience - having held different positions over the years. I believe good customer service is the most important factor in any business. I enjoy being part of a team.

Interests:

I enjoy spending time with my two boys. I like going to the cinema, eating out and spending time with family and friends. Any other spare time is spent reading or listening to music. My favourite clothes are my pjs

 

Ben Swain

Finance Administrator

BA Hons Accounting and Finance

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

Having just graduated from university I wanted to find varied role within a relatively small team where i can gain experience of all aspects of finance and continue to learn. When I attended my interview I quickly realised that Solo is the ideal company and this is the ideal role to help me to develop my skills.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I bring a hard-working and organised approach, along with an eagerness to learn and a good understanding of finance from my degree.

Interests

I am a big football fan and I go to watch my local team, Boston United, whenever I can. I also like to keep fit by going to the gym and I enjoy going out to the pub with friends and travelling as much as I can.


 

 Emma Merrett - Office Assistant

Emma Thurston

Direct Payments (DPSS) - Client Relations Manager

BSc Hons Environmental Geosciences

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

As soon as I found out about Solo Support Services I wanted to know more. I completely agree with everything that Solo stands for. I honestly believe it would be near impossible to find a person that doesn't believe that everyone is entitled to the level of care, compassion, respect and freedom of choice that Solo provides. For that reason I am incredibly proud to be a part of Solo and to know that everything we do really does make such a difference to peoples lives.

What do you bring to Solo?

I have worked in customer facing roles for over 10 years, which has given me a firm standing in customer service. I bring a caring nature and a professional attitude.

Interests:

I love travelling and eating out. I also try to spend as much time as possible with friends and family.

 

Kirsty Hanlon

Direct Payments (DPSS) - Client Relations Administrator

Diploma in Health & Social Care, Children's Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Psychology

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

After meeting the managers during my interview and hearing all about Solo Support Services and their values, I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of this ever-expanding business.

What do you bring to Solo?

Having a background in health and social care, I am passionate about people and their wellbeing. I believe that people should have equal opportunities and person centred care by having their choices considered.

Interests:

I enjoy spending time with my kids, going on holiday, eating out and catching up with friends and family as often as possible.

Kellie Grover Ryan

Kellie Grover-Ryan

Client Relations Administrator

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

After reading about what Solo do and what they stand for, it made me really want to be a part of it. Having had personal experience of a family member wanting to be cared for at home and how difficult and confusing the whole experience was, I wanted to be able to help other people achieve this.

What do you bring to Solo Support Services?

I bring over 20 years of secretarial and administrative experience. I have worked in various sectors and have also had many volunteering roles helping the community. I believe my personal experiences have also helped me gain a lot of experience and understanding.

Interests:

Visiting new places, walking, spending time with my daughter, watching crime documentaries and tap dancing.

 

Ingrid Foster - Payroll

Ingrid Foster

Direct Payments (DPSS) - Payroll Manager

HND Business & Finance

What made you want to work for Solo?

I have known Nicola Darby for more than 20 years. We first met whilst working as Au- Pairs just outside Paris. We remained friends and kept in touch ever since. Nicola has always shown entrepreneurial flair. As a student she organised events and parties as an extra source of income so I was not surprised when she told me of her new business venture born out of the most tragic of circumstances. I watched in awe and from a distance as her business grew. Last summer (2013) she talked to me about a new payroll vacancy and I jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect, my previous job was coming to a natural end and I was ready for something new as well as being delighted and honoured at becoming a part of this new growing company. I began work for Solo in January 2014 and have not looked back since. What a learning curve!

What do you bring to Solo?

I am conscientious and organised, and work at my best as part of a team. I bring 20 years office admin experience, incl. payroll, book keeping, serviced office and self storage management.

Interests: 

My 2 daughters keep me very busy and I have over recent years taken up running as a way to keep fit and I enter various races throughout the year as motivation. I enjoy going to the cinema, reading and catching up with my friends as often as I can.

 

 

Lauren Cruz

Direct Payments (DPSS) - Finance Administrator

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

After hearing about the work that Solo does to help people get the right help and support that suits their lives, I knew I wanted to be a part of their team.

What do you bring to Solo?

I am hard-working, organised and enjoy working as part of a team. I also have previous experience in customer facing roles, which has given me an understanding of the importance of providing good customer service.

Interests: 

I enjoy travelling to new places, going out for meals and spending time with family and friends. I also like to keep fit and enjoy taking my dog on long walks.

 

Jenna Woodhouse

Direct Payments (DPSS) - Finance Administrator

What made you want to work for Solo Support Services?

I have always had an interest in Finances and have been looking for an opportunity to work in a financial role, as well as helping people have control over their support and make a positive difference to their lives.

What do you bring to Solo?

I have previously worked for a financial company and gained an understanding of working alongside the financial sector. I have also got 4 years of working in customer facing roles which has given me the ability to deal with queries from clients confidently and help them to the best of my ability.

Interests: 

I enjoy eating out with my friends and family, as well as a strong aspiration to travel and see the wonders of the world.

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Here at Solo Support Services we take pride in helping our clients and knowing we have been able to provide a better quality of life. It's great to hear how they feel about Solo, and how we may have been able to help them and their loved ones.