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East Anglia Future 50

'It feels like the right time to make a positive change' - Essex father inspired by personal tragedy launches new care service

PUBLISHED: 16:22 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 23 April 2019

Lee Bernard has started Caremark Colchester to tackle what he sees as the inefficiencies with the region�s care industry. Photo: Getty Images / Caremark.

Lee Bernard has started Caremark Colchester to tackle what he sees as the inefficiencies with the region�s care industry. Photo: Getty Images / Caremark.

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz Photographee.eu

An Essex father has launched an in-home care service after witnessing the "hopeless" treatment suffered by his grandparents.

Lee Bernard started Caremark Colchester to tackle what he sees as the inefficiencies within the region's care industry.

The businessman is hoping to make a difference to elderly patients and in turn create a host of new jobs across north Essex.

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“The thing that sets us apart from other providers in the area is we are challenging the current model of delivering care,” said Mr Bernard.

“We are putting in place a brand new system which promises to meet the demands of the people affected by the loneliness epidemic in the area.

“Our aim, as a provider, is to get the elderly people, living in the more remote areas like Great Horkesley, West Mersea and Marks Tey, out into the community and socialising again.

“That was what inspired me to launch an in-home care company in the first place – to help people live independently, for as long as they possibly can.”

It was a trio of personal tragedies which caused Mr Bernard to leave his career as a optician to pursue this new venture.

He said: “I lost my paternal grandad to dementia and grandma to sub-motor neuron palsy, which is essentially a really aggressive form of Parkinson's.

“I then lost my maternal grandad to MRSA, when he became ill after a knee operation.

“They all required care and support and, at one time or another, they were all cared for in their own home. I must say, some of the care workers were marvellous but most were hopeless.

“I was often left feeling disappointed that this was the state of care available in the area.

“I also very recently lost my dad, to pleural mesothelioma – an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos – and so now, more than ever, felt like the right time to make a positive change for the community.”

Mr Bernard, along with care manager Debbie Allison who has more than 30 years experience in the sector, and a team of local care workers is currently serving a growing number of clients – with hopes of expansion and the creation of new jobs by the end of the year.

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