• Creating a Community Where Everyone Belongs

My Life Support

Welcome to My Life Support

If you have a personal budget or a direct payment it can be daunting choosing and managing care and support for yourself or a loved one.

We can help you to plan and organise your care, so you can focus on what’s important, living your life the way that you want to.

From planning your support, to managing your money, recruiting and managing Personal Assistants, all our support is tailor made to you.


We are Care Quality Commission registered

Our services are available for people with disabilities and health conditions who are funded by social care or the NHS and have a personal budget.

We have lots of experience helping people who have very complex needs, as well as people who lack capacity and have no family.


What makes us different?

We place huge importance on really listening to the people that we support.

My Life Support came about as a result of feedback from families who were experiencing difficulties with their care and support. Members of our team have worked in the care system and we have seen that traditional approaches often fail people.

This is often because things start with a focus on the question of “what’s the matter?” without giving enough thought to “what matters?” to the person seeking help.


Putting you first

Our first step is always about getting to know you.

Because we work in a personalised way it’s important that we understand as much about you or your loved one as possible, including what your care and support needs are and what’s important to you.


How much does it cost?

Our costs vary depending on how much support you need.  If you have a personal budget, the council or the NHS will usually pay our fees as part of your budget.

Find out more

We’d love to hear from you. You can contact us by calling 01257 472 900 or emailing info@my-life.org.uk.

Home   Back To Top

Why choose My Life Support?

My Life Support is a service grown from the charity My Life, a community of ordinary people.

Each of us has had direct experience of struggle, either directly for ourselves or through someone we care about.

Whether through poverty, disability, or lack of educational opportunities, very often we have struggled to contribute and be part of mainstream society, discover our true identity and how we can live a good life on our own terms.

Because of this, we understand the challenges faced by people with disabilities and health conditions and their families.


How can we help you?

We provide a personalised service that fits around you, so there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

You can pick and choose from different services, depending on how much support you need.

Our services cover the two main areas below.


Getting started

  • Helping you decide the best way to manage your personal budget
  • Writing your care and support plan, getting this approved by the council or NHS
  • Finding you the right service or staff, including help recruiting and employing personal assistants
  • Providing tools to help you manage your staff (if you want to manage them yourself)
  • Employing staff for you, if you do not want to be an employer
  • Helping you get more involved in the local community and social activities
  • Support to get a job or to continue in your current job
  • Finding a home or making sure your current home is suitable
  • Finances and ensuring you are getting the benefits you are entitled to
  • Producing a plan for the future, looking at finances, wills and trusts and what needs to be in place if you are no longer here for your loved one

Making sure everything is running smoothly

  • Managing your staff, rotas and payroll, pension payments, sickness, holidays and training requirements
  • Providing holiday, sickness, maternity/paternity cover for your staff
  • Managing your personal budget, making sure payments are made on time, providing reports for the council and NHS
  • Organising and providing respite or emergency care
  • Organising holidays and outings for people with complex accessibility or care requirements
  • Holding regular reviews of your care and support including ‘spot checks’ making sure everything is working well and making any changes needed

Giving you peace of mind

Our aim is to provide you with peace of mind whilst making sure you or your loved one has the quality of life you or they deserve.

We want to help people to be as independent as possible and support them to have the skills and confidence to manage their own care and support if they want to.

Our team of staff have many years’ experience in helping people to get the care and support they need to live a good life.

We can help you too.

Home   Back To Top

Help recruiting and managing Personal Assistants

A Personal Assistant (PA) can help you to stay independent and in your own home.

It’s really important that they have the right skills and are a good personality match for you and your family.

We know that many people find it difficult to find and keep hold of ‘good’ PAs and manage everything involved in employing their own staff.

For people who need support with clinical healthcare tasks it can be especially hard to find people with specialist skills.


How we can help

Through our innovative Pathways to Employment course we have recruited and trained hundreds of PAs. We’re proud to say that we have a 100% success rate in matching them with families.

We can help by:

  • Understanding what you need from a PA, the skills they need and what kind of person you are looking for
  • Matching your needs with PAs on our extensive database. If we can’t find a perfect match we will go out and find you one!
  • Interviewing PAs, managing the whole recruitment process
  • Managing all paperwork, developing rosters, arranging insurance, assessing health and safety requirements
  • Identifying and carrying out any training your PAs need to provide the best possible care
  • Managing payroll and pension payments
  • Providing emergency sickness and holiday cover
  • Making sure everything is running the way you want and having regular reviews with you and your PAs
  • Employing the PA on your behalf if you don’t want to 
Home   Back To Top

Help managing your money

Worried about how you will manage the money in your personal budget?

For many people, managing the money is the thing that worries them the most.

Making sure payments to care providers are made on time, paying people’s wages and providing the council with copies of invoices can be time consuming.

With our money management service, you still get all the choice and control of a personal budget, but we do all the leg work for you.


Helping to make your money work best for you

A vital aspect of managing your money is making sure that it is used to help you or a loved one live life the way you or they want to.

That’s why it’s important that we get to know you and understand your support needs by:

  • Finding out what is important to you, what you want to change
  • Exploring your gifts, talents, hopes and dreams
  • Discussing how you want to arrange and manage your care and support
  • Providing support and advocacy, if needed, to help you express your needs
  • Looking at creative solutions that will best meet your care, support and wellbeing, including support provided by family and friends and paid for services
  • Checking there is enough money to meet your needs and that it is going to be used in the best way
  • Making sure the planned support will keep you safe and well

How does it work?

We can speak to your council or NHS team and arrange for the money to be transferred to us each month.

We’ll then arrange for all your care and support providers and bills to be paid correctly and on time.


Will my money be safe?

We’ll hold your money in a separate bank account just in your name, which is held on trust, so it’s completely safe.

Our strict financial procedures mean that money can only be spent on what you and your council or NHS team have agreed.

You’ll have access to this online account at any time of the day, so you can see how your money is being used.  Or, we can provide you with paper statements.

Home   Back To Top

Help planning for the future

Have you thought about what will happen to your loved one when you’re no longer here, or able to care for them?

If you have a social care or NHS personal budget, you will need to have a plan in place and agreed by your social worker or local NHS team.

As hard as it may be to think about it, this plan will bring you peace of mind knowing that things are in place when the time comes.


How we can help you

It’s understandable that you may be worried about the future. We’ll help you to consider every aspect of this, plus some things you may not have thought about. Then:

  • We’ll work with you to develop a ‘plan for the future,’ involving wills, trusts and financial planning
  • We’ll explore who will oversee the care of your loved one and where they’ll live
  • We’ll then use this to create a clear, legally binding plan, that we’ll implement when it is needed

Widening the circle of support

Disabled people often spend most of their time with people who are paid to support them.

It’s important that they have a wider network of people who are part of their lives because they want to be – not because they are paid to be.

We can help you develop a wider ‘Circle of Support,’ making sure there are other people involved in your loved one’s life, such as friends and relatives, encouraging friendships and including them within their local community.

Home   Back To Top

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision

Our vision is simple: for people who need support to have a good life. Our belief is if we all give a little, we will all gain and grow together. 

Our goals are based on the Citizenship Model and focus on the six key themes below.


Our Mission

We aim to:

  • Work in a person-centred way with people of all ages who may need support to achieve a good life for themselves
  • Enable people to feel in control of their own lives
  • Enable people to have the emotional support to get through the tough times
  • Arm people with all the information and help they need to work out their own solutions

 

Home   Back To Top

Our team

Along with our team members below, our Personal Assistants and Support Staff all have one aim, to help people get the care and support they need to live a good life.  


Tracey Tolley, Registered Manager

Having worked as a Retail Manager, Tracey decided that she needed a change of direction and became one of a team of Personal Assistants supporting Joseph, the son of My Life CEO, Caroline Tomlinson.

Following this, Tracey became a Team Leader and led on numerous enterprises, including working alongside Joseph on the ‘Odd Socks’ recycling enterprise, as well as running community groups and days out for adults with disabilities.

One of the original team who sat around Caroline Tomlinson’s kitchen table and helped developed the idea of My Life, Tracey has been a formative voice in the evolution of the charity.    

Initially a Director of My Life C.I.C., Tracy went on to become Operations Manager for My Life’s Leigh site before becoming Registered Manager for My Life Support. Tracey says: 

“I think it is valuable to keep an active approach in the delivery of care with the people we support. We are always thinking proactively about what is best for each individual person and that is really important.”


Lynn Cottriall, Team Manager, Business Lead

In early 2017, after a long career in Banking and Finance and running her own businesses, Lynn decided to retire.

Following this decision, Lynn attended My Life’s Pathways to Employment course and after seeing the way in which the charity enriches people’s lives, she was inspired by our founder and CEO Caroline Tomlinson to join the My Life family.

In August 2017 Lynn began working as one of our Personal Assistants, supporting people to live a good life. Within a couple of months however, My Life Support was launched and, with her management experience spotted, Lynn was chosen to work alongside our Registered Manager Tracey as a Team Manager and our Business Lead. Lynn says:

“My job is very rewarding, no two days are the same and I am privileged to work with amazing, fun and dedicated people.  The thing I enjoy the most is helping to make a difference to people’s lives.”


Chelsea Edwards, Team Manager 

Chelsea began her first ever supporting role seven years ago, assisting a young man who attended My Life. At that time, Chelsea remembers admiring everything that My Life stood for and being excited to see how the organisation was progressing.

After continuing in her supporting role and gaining experience in educating adults and young adults with additional needs, Chelsea returned to My Life some years later, this time taking on the role of Team Manager for My Life Support. Chelsea says:

“I am now responsible for ensuring that our members fulfil their lives in the best possible way, with the best possible team of support staff, selected to suit their individual needs. It’s extremely rewarding to see the results of a successful team providing excellent support and helping to create the best possible lives for our members.”


Matt Barton, Team Manager

At 19 years old, having been unsure of his future career path, a friend recommended Matt apply for a job in care.

Instantly discovering that he had a passion for supporting people with a learning disability to get the most they can out of life, Matt progressed to become a Team Manager.

After working for the same company for fourteen years, Matt felt ready for a new challenge and, having attended a My Life open evening, he successfully applied for his role as Team Manager. Matt says:

“I had some experience of My Life before I worked here, and I remember being impressed by how inclusive things were and that there seemed to be no hierarchy within the organisation. Members and their PAs seemed more like friends.

The reality has been what I expected. I’ve been welcomed into the My Life Support family and my teams in the community have impressed me with their dedication and excellent support.” 


Kelly Robinson, Deputy Clinical Lead

After working in the administrative and finance sector, Kelly trained as a nurse, beginning her career in 2008.

Having worked in intensive care, Kelly decided that she really wanted to work with people with complex needs.

She went on to have a very fulfilling career working for Derian House Children’s Hospice, going on to a role leading complex needs packages in the community.

Having worked with our CEO Caroline Tomlinson before, Kelly jumped at the chance to apply for the role of My Life Support’s Deputy Clinical Lead. She says:

“As I had known Caroline, I understood the ethos of My Life Support and what they do. Now, I feel privileged that I work for the organisation and hope that I make a difference to the families I work with. At this moment I couldn’t wish to work anywhere else.”


Kathy Kilner, Administrator

After completing her degree in Pharmacology, Kathy spent thirty years working in diverse environments. These included the pharmaceutical industry, the NHS, local government and the Examinations Board.

Somehow, Kathy also found the time to run her own catering business and café!

After meeting My Life Support’s Tracey Tolley on a volunteer recruitment day, Kathy was so impressed with Tracey’s enthusiasm for My Life that she applied to work for us and we’re very glad that she did. Kathy says:

“I look forward to coming in every day, supporting the lovely team here at My Life Support.”

Home   Back To Top

What people say about us

We feel privileged to help support so many lovely people and their families. Below is what they say about us.


“We would like to thank each team, who are always so creative and responsive to the person they support. It truly is wonderful to see how much everyone who works for My Life really does care – and for that we are privileged.”

“There isn’t one word, sentence or even paragraph that could give justice to the difference My Life Support has made to my life. Having a meaningful life never seemed an option to me, but with My Life Support, I am now more positive about what my future holds.”


“Marina said she is so happy to be part of the My Life family.”

“Wanted to say how amazing the staff have been during this crisis and would like to thank them from the bottom of her heart.” 

“When Wendy walked through the door today it felt like Mary Poppins had arrived! She just got stuck in and even told Lorna that she would be feeding Brad. Well between you and me that’s a first as Lorna always gives Brad his dinner. Brad clearly liked her and she even got a few kisses off him too which never happens on the first shift.”  


“My Life Support is working on a support plan with me. I feel more positive because I feel I’ve got a say and more control over my life and my family are involved in that too.”  

“My Life reassured us that they could help manage everything so we wouldn’t have to.  Now, I don’t need to worry about paying staff wages or bills or sending receipts and invoices to prove how we’ve spent the money. It’s such a relief to have someone else to help with the administration so I can concentrate on looking after Stacey.”

“My Life Support were able to not just find, but carefully match PAs specifically to Katie. The care is not just about her immediate health needs, it’s about her likes and dislikes, about her living the life that she chooses. Most importantly, all her PAs are people who want to work with her. We’re relieved that Katie now has a consistent team of seven PAs all carefully selected to meet her very high support needs.”

Home   Back To Top

Real life stories

Phil and Linda Gavin tell how My Life Support helped them to plan for son Stephen’s future.

“For ten years we have managed a Direct Payment for our son Stephen.

We have recruited and interviewed personal assistants, dealt with payroll, employment law and all the business administration of employing the team.

This worked successfully, but being realistic, we had to look forward as we got older, to make preparations for Stephen’s future in the longer-term.

We have known My Life from its founding years and personally know Caroline, Tracey and Clare and felt that we could put our trust and faith in My Life Support.

In September 2019 My Life Support successfully obtained a third-party direct payment from Lancashire County Council. Since then, My Life Support have transferred Stephen’s existing PAs and have recruited additional PAs to complement his team.

Working with My Life we have started to get a team that works well with Stephen and this is now allowing us to step back and begin to be parents rather than employers.”


Faye explains how My Life Support helped her to employ and manage her daughter Katie’s PAs

“Katie had left our house to live in her own home, but the support broke down after just nine weeks so she had to come back. We were really struggling to continue to employ Personal Assistants (PAs) for her via a direct payment.

There are so many things that can be difficult – how do you find really good people? What happens if they have to go off on long term sick or maternity leave? And if someone just doesn’t turn up then you have a real gap.

We’ve been involved with My Life for five years and knew about the successful Pathways to Employment course it runs, where they train people to be PAs, so when we turned to them, we felt hopeful.

They were able to not just find, but carefully match PAs specifically to Katie, because they have access to so many good people through the Pathways to Employment course.

The care is very person-centred, so it’s not just about Katie’s immediate health needs, it’s about her likes and dislikes, about her living the life that she chooses. Most importantly, all her PAs are people who want to work with her.

Twelve months on, My Life now manages all Katie’s support in her own home.

We feel that things have worked out really well. We’re relieved that Katie now has the whole support package she needs and has had a team of support built around her.

Some people dream of success while other people get up every morning and make it happen – we as a family can’t thank My Life Support enough for everything they’ve done to make sure that Katie has the life she deserves.”


Wendy tells how My Life Support helped her to manage her niece Stacey’s money and support

“Stacey has many health issues and I was looking after her 24/7 on my own as well as my other two children. I received very little support and no respite.

I was completely exhausted and was told that if I couldn’t cope then Stacey would need to go into residential care, even though the paediatrician said she would deteriorate if she wasn’t in her own home.

My Life Support helped me through the process of accessing continuing health care funding and a personal health budget so we could keep Stacey at home.

The team worked with us to develop a care and support plan that would meet Stacey’s health needs as well as managing everything to do with the personal health budget, including holding the money.

This means I don’t need to worry about paying staff wages or bills or sending receipts and invoices to prove how we’ve spent the money. It’s such a relief to have someone else to help with the administration so I can concentrate on looking after Stacey.

My Life Support listened to me and didn’t try to take over. They understood that Stacey’s health needs must come first and that her care should be personal to her.

They’ve made me feel like I have a sense of purpose again. They understood that Stacey needed more than one person to look after her so that the whole family could stay well and healthy.

Being able to take my little boy to his football matches and know that Stacey is well cared for is amazing. If anything happens to me, I know she’s got the right care in place and with My Life Support she’s got the right agency.”

Home   Back To Top

Contact us

If you’d like to know more, we’d love to speak with you. Call us on 01257 472 900 or email info@my-life.org.uk

We are based at:

My Life Support,

No 1 Smithy Court,

Smithy Brook Road,

Wigan, WN3 6PS

Registered address:

My Life Support,

Thompson House Equestrian Centre,

Off Pepper Lane,

Standish, Wigan,

Lancashire, WN6 0PP

Home   Back To Top

Sign up to our newsletter

Thompson House
Wigan Council
Alocura
Lancashire County Council
CCG
Calico
Shop 4 support
Care Quality Commission
NHS England

Registered charity number 1167858 - Registered office: Thompson House Equestrian Centre, Off Pepper Lane, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, WN6 0PP

  • Copyright © 2014 - 2020 My Life. All Rights Reserved.