The home care service is inspired by the world-renowned Dutch system, and is a new model for supporting older people to live well in their own home. In a UK-first, their teams will be starting in Paignton and Torquay this week.

The teams are known as ‘Wellbeing Teams’, because they focus on everything a person needs to live well at home – not only on food and medication.

They are small, neighbourhood-based teams who offer consistent, flexible support that is entirely tailored to each individual. Each person has a team of no more than four Wellbeing Workers; and the person decides when, where and how they want to be supported. The model’s flexibility allows the Wellbeing Workers to focus on helping people to achieve the change they want to see in their life, instead of simply coming in every day to perform the same tasks over and over. They don’t have a traditional manager, so the team can ask what the person wants to do on the day without needing to get permission.

The Wellbeing Teams model was developed by Helen Sanderson, who was the Department of Health’s expert advisor on person centred approaches, and has written books about putting people at the centre of their care experience. She has partnered with Maddy Bird and David Harborne, both from a social care background, to bring Wellbeing Teams to Torbay under the name ‘love2care’. Wellbeing Teams are a national social franchise, aiming to make teams like common across the UK – starting in Devon.

Helen says:

“Wellbeing is about so much more than being kept safe and well. That is crucial, of course, but it’s also vital to help people to do more of what matters to them, and to stay connected to their friends, family and community, which we do with our charity partner Community Circles. These are the things that make life worth living.”

Maddy says:

“We don’t start with forms, we start with a conversation. We always take the time to get to know what matters to people really well.

Recently, whilst getting to know someone, I learnt that they really missed having fish and chips every week. So before I visited, I phoned her and asked if she would like me to pick some up for her on my way over. The freedom we have to make day-to-day decisions means we can make these little touches happen.

Another lady had mentioned that she needed to head to the shops, and I was able to drop her off on my way to another appointment without having to get permission from ‘head office’. Things like this make a huge difference to people’s quality of life.”

The model has generated considerable interest in the social care sector, where people are looking for new solutions at a time where the sector is under strain due to tight council budgets.

The service is launching this week. To find out more, people can visit or contact Maddy Bird on 07715 686734.


Notes for editors:

  • Helen Sanderson is a published author and CEO of the social enterprise Helen Sanderson Associates. She has over 20 years of experience in the area of person-centred practice and previously worked for many years as a social worker and occupational therapist.
  • David and Maddy founded love2care, the first UK franchise partner for Wellbeing Teams.
  • People can pay for Wellbeing Teams, or use council financial support to pay for it, if they are eligible.
  • The first teams will be operating in Paignton and Torquay, and they have plans to expand to other areas.
  • Animations can be used to illustrate an online article. You can find our animation here:
  • Photos are available on request.
  • Maddy Bird is available for interview on request. For more information please contact Maddy on 07715 686734 or via email at