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PossAbilities CIC

Organisation Summary

Business Sector:Health and Social Care

Business Activities:Education and Care

Business Location:Heywood, Greater Manchester

Chief Executive:Rachel Law

Turnover:£6.5m

Employees:220

Legal structure:Community Interest Company

Website:www.possabilities.org.uk

PossAbilities is a Community Interest Company (CIC) established on 1 April 2014 as part of the Cabinet Office Public Service Mutuals Programme. It has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It was one of the first one hundred social enterprises to be formed by ‘spinning-out’ services which had formerly been run by public sector bodies. In PossAbilities’ case, it was formerly the Adult Social Care Provider within Rochdale MBC.

PossAbilities provides a portfolio of services for vulnerable people, primarily people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and young people leaving care. The range of services includes:

  • Day services
  • Supported living
  • Supporting people in their own homes
  • Respite/short break facilities
  • Supported placements for young people
  • Shared lives
  • Employment services

PossAbilities has very quickly become a fast paced, outward looking social enterprise that is pushing back the boundaries in the areas in which it works. The Big Lottery Fund and Lloyds Foundation have entrusted the organisation to set up the first Homeshare scheme in the North of England; it has begun to take Shared Lives into new areas like mental health and dementia; and it is also investing £135,000 into an urban farm and wellbeing garden.

PossAbilities is not an award winning organisation. It follows the principle ‘Concentrate on what’s important and everything else will look after itself’. The social enterprise spends all of its time and effort in these early years, trying to work out what’s important.

E3M Member

PossAbilities CIC

Name:Rachel Law

Title :CEO

Rachel took the long way round to her position as PossAbilities first Chief Executive, and it’s a route that she wouldn’t change for the world. Without a great deal of thought she found herself working as a Care Assistant looking after people with learning disabilities and found that she had stumbled upon something that she loved.

More than twenty years later she has worked in practically every position from Care Assistant to Chief Executive, giving her an understanding of the detail, which enabled her to restructure services significantly, before moving them out to the social enterprise sector.

The creation of PossAbilities and everything it stands for is, so far, one of her greatest achievements. She says, “It took two years of hard slog, diplomacy, evangelism, technical wrangling and bureaucracy busting to get us out of the public sector. I’ve been surprised at how quickly people absorbed and bought into our new culture and values. We’ve created a place where people earn a living doing what they love; a place that’s fun to be in; PossAbilities has become a place where anything is possible.”

If she has a weakness, it is her love for animals. The urban farm seems to have new recruits almost on a weekly basis and every Wednesday she receives a visit from Woody, the PossAbilities Dementia Dog.