Disability Support

Nothing is more important that prioritising one’s health. Be it mental or physical, taking care of yourself is paramount when surrounded by a wounded world that’s still in the process of healing. And yet, sometimes it can feel impossible to tackle the challenges you’re facing alone, no matter how strong your resolve may be. The social care system is far from perfect after all, leaving many in a state of struggle from which they can seldom emerge. Enter First Thought Care Services, a Gloucestershire-based support organisation that is set on shaping the system’s existing framework into something capable of making a meaningful difference.

The year is 2020, and the world has found itself amidst the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many care companies are facing closures, while others are having to escalate their costs to make ends meet. As a result, many in need of reliable care services have been left to fend for themselves, unable to connect with professionals when they need them most. It was in response to this very conundrum that First Thought Care Services came to be. Established by Jack Cook, First Thought Care Services sought to not merely join the existing framework of social care, but to reshape it altogether. Fast forward to the present day, the organisation is now an active force that’s reigning in a long-awaited change within the sector.

Though it may not be the only organisation in pursuit of a better social care system, First Thought Care Services is, by far, the UK’s most unique participant in influencing said change. This spawns from Jack’s personal experiences in his youth – experiences that saw him being sectioned under the mental health act twice before he reached the age of seventeen. While most would allow such an occurrence to deter them from the system altogether, Jack instead noticed critical flaws in how social care was carried out, and vowed to fill these pitfalls to the best of his ability. His answer to the sector’s problems ultimately took the form of First Thought Care Services, which now acts as a mouthpiece through which Jack can not only spread awareness of his story, but uplift others who have shared similar experiences.

Thanks to this firsthand understanding of the social care system’s failings, Jack has been able to mould First Thought Care Services into an organisation that truly resonates with the needs of individuals with additional requirements. Whether service users are struggling with mental health difficulties, learning difficulties, autism, or other complex conditions, the collective delivers methods that go beyond convention. Instead of following a beat for beat process, First Thought Care Services finds itself adapting to the individuality of its users, allowing it to provide a more compassionate, understanding, and effective care service. After all, Jack’s commitment to change underpins each action the organisation takes, placing it in the perfect position to transform the landscape of social care across the UK as a whole.

Though Jack’s story may be an incredibly personal one, as opposed to simply using it as an explanation for why he created First Thought Care Services, he instead integrates the insights that he gained during that time into the organisation’s services. In doing so, he’s created a paradigm shift – one that is currently overseeing the creation of a more responsive system. By leveraging all that he has learned over the years, Jack deploys leadership, empathy, and a profound commitment to social betterment to provide comprehensive care plans that flawlessly address the unique needs of every individual. This is something that the current system simply can’t match, making First Thought Care Services a truly unique entity within the sector.

Of course, without its driving values, First Thought Care Services wouldn’t have earned such exceptional levels of renown from a multitude of service users. Above all else, the organisation promises to approach each person with dignity and respect – two pillars that act as the core foundation of the entire collective. First Thought Care Services has long since identified how difficult it can be for those who may be struggling to regain a sense of self, and therefore provides care that’s both personal and holistic. The hope is that, in creating an environment in which service users can thrive, they’ll be able to restore control over their aspirations and make the decisions that must be made in order to improve their overall wellbeing.

Honouring the individuality and autonomy of each service user is where First Thought Care Services truly shines, and it’s all thanks to the organisation’s unrelenting commitment to providing a safe space in which people can be themselves, no matter their condition. Wherever possible, First Thought Care Services encourages individuals to make their own life choices, while simultaneously meeting their immediate needs as and when its assistance is required. In short, First Thought Care Services isn’t simply a caregiver, but is an advocate for the dignity and self-determination of every individual it serves. No matter their age, the organisation is dedicated to helping service users pave their own path forward. Only then can they achieve a sense of fulfilment – fulfilment empowered by the guidance of First Thought Care Services’ team.

And with a team so focused on providing the highest quality of care and support to individuals in need, it’s unsurprising that First Thought Care Services has managed to have such a positive impact over its three years of operation. Each member under the organisation’s umbrella is committed to the overall welfare of each service user, and takes the time to adapt their previous experiences into the overall reshaping of the social care system. Partnered with the lessons it has learned along the way, be it from service users, their families, or others involved in their life, First Thought Care Services’ team has coalesced a culture of continuous improvement. It’s this very culture that grants it the ability to remain flexible as the social care field fluctuates, meaning that no service user will be made to feel stranded as the sector shifts. First Thought Care Services aims to be dependable, no matter what, and it’s demonstrated that it’s wholly committed to realising this goal.

In addition to this fluid nature, First Thought Care Services has also gone the extra mile to invest in continuous training for its staff. By supplying ongoing teachings on various aspects of social care, the organisation ensures that its people are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver impeccable care. Once in possession of the correct tools to assist any type of service user, First Thought Care Services’ staff members turn their attention to providing person-centered, high-quality care that’s set to empower and motivate those under its watchful eye. In fostering such a collaborative approach, First Thought Care Services has redefined expectations across the sector – it promises more, without compromise, no matter how lengthy the process.

However, just because First Thought Care Services has created its own framework – one that has already become the face of compassionate, meaningful social care – that isn’t to say that it is tying itself to a single methodology. On the contrary, First Thought Care Services is exceptionally proud of its versatility. This characteristic is best represented through the organisation’s robust quality assurance mechanisms, wherein First Thought Care Services carries out regular audits, reviews, and evaluations of its care services to identify any areas of improvement. By closely monitoring service users’ feedback and experiences, the collective is able to adapt in order to continue delivering the utmost level of individualised care.

Furthermore, First Thought Care Services looks to establish a real connection with its service users, all in the hopes that it can begin to create video care plans that will open up opportunities for more accessible services. Throughout this period, First Thought Care Services has made sure to actively involve its service users, allowing them to have a say in how the organisation delivers their care. This, after all, is the ultimate goal of the collective – to uphold an individual’s right to make decisions, without having to unnecessarily interject. Support is the beating heart of First Thought Care Services, which clearly manifests through the dedication it injects into its work. And, should any changes occur, First Thought Care Services promises to be as responsive as it is compassionate.

Anyone managing their disabilities or mental health conditions will tell you that doing so isn’t a single-person process; it involves their families too. Recognising this, First Thought Care Services provides education and support for all parties involved, encouraging them to participate in the care process from start to finish. This is accomplished through the organisations two care centres, each equipped with an educational space for service users, regardless of age of disability. In these rooms, individuals can partake in First Thought Care Services’ person-centric education plan, devised by an in-house education manager, while making use of the centres’ many amenities. From enjoying some time in the cinema, games, and ICT rooms, to retiring to the sensory room and garden, First Thought Care Services sees that every person has access to a comfortable space throughout their time in the centres.

It’s clear that, no matter what measures it must take, First Thought Care Services is in the business of changing lives for the better. Whether it’s granting access to centres that have been specifically designed to empower those who are struggling, or interacting with technological emergences to provide streamlined communication between service users, it has gone above and beyond to secure a bespoke approach that knows no equal. There really is no other organisation quite like First Thought Care Services; its eye for the small details, combined with its team’s personal experience, places it in an ideal position to reshape the social care system for good. Its influence is already showing, and continues to grow each day.

The extraordinary impact that First Thought Care Services is having is shown through its presence on social media via TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, where it features both its service users and employees, in addition to promoting fundraisers including its CCP (Caring for Communities and People) Big Sleep Out which took place in January, holiday themed content, myth busting, and inspirational quotes. From showcasing fun activities that its users get involved in such as its Christmas party, Disney dress-up day, crazy golf, trampolining, dancing, and more, to highlighting its team members for their outstanding contributions, First Thought Care Services’ social media content is all about spreading positivity, celebrating its people, and sharing all the good that the company is doing.

Taking care of those who need it the most is important, but, without also taking care of your own, a collective runs the risk of its hard work falling apart. Thankfully, despite rising costs making it difficult to retain and recruit qualified staff, First Thought Care Services has devised a solution that it’s incredibly proud of. Not only does it offer competitive pay rates, perks, and career advancement opportunities, but it’s also designed a standout way of recognising the striking talent under its roof – its unique Employee of the Month scheme. Though most companies carry out similar schemes, First Thought Care Services, as expected, does things a little differently.

Once an Employee of the Month is chosen, First Thought Care Services allows them to choose from a selection of anonymised envelopes, within which is one of many prizes. Be it one week’s worth of paid shopping, a spa break, an illustrious night at The Shard, or even a week-long holiday abroad, First Thought Care Services’ staff are treated to the recognition that they definitely deserve. First Thought Care Services is aware of how lucky it is to have such committed, compassionate individuals bringing its goals to life, and has developed the perfect means to reward them. With such a staggering level of motivation, it’s no surprise that First Thought Care Services’ team is able to provide such stellar care to service users.

Possessing multiple accolades – including 30 under 30 award, Best Newcomer Small Business 2022, Best Work Environment 2022, Gloucestershire Specialist Care Facility of the Year Award 2023, Childcare Services Awards Best SEN Support 2023, and Childcare Leader of the Year Finalist 2023 – Jack has proven that one man’s experience can create something that will go on to change the lives of thousands. Through First Thought Care Services, he has managed to right the wrongs of the existing social care system, giving hope to those in need that there are people out there who genuinely care. First Thought Care Services’ team members are such people, each prepared to do whatever they must to turn service users’ lives around. And, in a world where help is needed more than ever before, First Thought Care Services is, by far, the most compassionate organisation the UK has to offer.

For further information, please contact Jack Cook or visit https://ftcareservices.co.uk/