Locally We Doumi3

Damian and Helena Doras

A social care company which helps people to continue living independently in their own homes is marking its fifth year in business – and bosses say it has been its most rewarding, yet challenging due to COVID-19.

Locally We Do, based in Derby, was established by Spondon husband-and-wife team Damian and Helena Doras in 2015.

The assisted living service has been helping to free up hospital beds during the crisis, making the homes of patients safer for them to return home to. 

The company offers an extensive range of services to the elderly and disabled - bespoke and tailored to their needs - including home help, cleaning, gardening and handyman work as well as property maintenance, shopping, accompanied doctor and hospital appointments, befriending and much more.

Damian said his team have managed to continue their work throughout the Coronavirus epidemic thanks to the COVID-19 procedures they had put in place early on, which were in line with government guidelines to protect both the Locally We Do team members and their clients.

He explained: “Like many companies, we could never have envisaged the current situation, but thankfully have been able to adapt to continue assisting our existing clients as well as the hospitals and various council departments in a variety of ways. 

“It’s not only important that our services can still be delivered throughout this crisis, to help vulnerable people and to free up hospital beds, but it’s also a lifeline for the mental health and wellbeing of our clients. 

“Many of our clients only see that one friendly face each day, or each week.

"By going into the clients’ home, we can check on that person and make sure that they are safe and well- and provide some much-needed social interaction.

“We may indeed be the only people who can tell if these individuals are under the weather because we know them and are going in to see them, as opposed to new volunteers who have only just started helping out in the crisis and see them at distance from the front door.”

Locally We Do, which covers the whole of the East Midlands, is a registered and vetted member of the Age UK Business Directory and Derbyshire County Council’s Trusted Trader scheme, and has a good working relationship with Derby City Council’s Healthy Housing department. 

Recent examples of its work include helping a terminally-ill cancer sufferer who had been discharged from hospital and required a daily visit to help with meal preparation, household chores, gardening, food shopping, and handyman work. 

Damian says despite the challenge of coronavirus, the company has enjoyed plenty of highlights over the years, starting from the early days of himself and Helena taking on big jobs as a team of just two and developing to a staff of 10, with more team members required. 

Rewarding moments have ranged from creating their first logo and website, to being “privileged” to be invited to pay respects at clients’ funerals, being invited to a client’s daughter’s “spectacular wedding” in Ireland, and the “amazing” feedback from clients, many of whom Damian affectionately calls his “adopted grandmas and grandpas” - and more recently, being involved in a 100th birthday celebration.

Damian said he and Helena have been able to move forward financially thanks to the success of Locally We Do, and added: “We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way. We still have a long way to go but are celebrating the wins and our achievements as our business continues to grow.”

Amanda Armstrong
Article by Amanda Armstrong
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