Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Pioneering care centre adapts to maintain valuable support for communities

A centre offering valuable support for families looking after relatives with dementia has revised its services following the coronavirus outbreak.

Me2U Team

The Me2U Centre opened in Kirkby, North Liverpool, in April 2018, and provides a range of services to help those with dementia maintain their independence and remain in their own home environments in the care of their families for longer.

It can also provide respite, giving carers the opportunity to attend to normal home and family routines, safe in the knowledge that their loved ones are in expert hands, as well as advice and support for care givers.

However, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and the introduction of social distancing measures, the centre has had to drastically revise its operations. It applied to care watchdog the CQC and is looking at adapting the business to become an emergency crisis facility, with six hospital beds available for high risk dementia patients.

This will provide specialist care for dementia patients, while freeing up vital capacity within the NHS for coronavirus patients. Following the switch, the centre, under the guidance of founder Rosie Whittington, is also offering emergency back-up such as a crisis phone line, a shopping service, and a prescription pick-up service for its 60 clients.

Mum of four Rosie is a former mental health nurse with Merseycare, where she supported people living with dementia, their families and carers.

During this time, she realised there was a need to extend support and ensure that dementia care ‘did not stop on a Friday’ due to more and more day care centres closing, through government cuts. She said: “Families were able to go to work, function, have respite, and then care for their love ones of an evening because they were able to balance, so to speak.”

She was inspired to set up her own business due to her passion for caring for people with dementia and to fill the gaps in this sector.

Having remortgaged her own home, and with the help of her best friend Angela she was able to open the Me2U Centre, which was initially chronically under-funded.

Rosie worked seven days a week for two years – doing five on early shifts as a mental health nurse and weekends in the Me2U Centre – to get the service up and running.

It meant she was unable to take a wage, herself, but she explained: “I’ve found my calling in life – I’ve been put on this earth to serve and I want to help as many people as I can who have been affected with dementia, that’s what I’m here for.”

With just an idea in mind, she was offered the support of The Women’s Organisation, the Liverpool-based social enterprise dedicated to helping small business start-ups throughout the Liverpool City Region.

She was enrolled on 1-2-1 support and group training sessions where she was able to create her own business plan to take the Me2U Centre forward.

Jo Mountfort, Programme Manager and Rosie’s Business Adviser at The Women’s Organisation said: “‘Working with Rosie, Angela, and the team is a pleasure. I have found it inspiring that in a time of crisis, people are working tirelessly to flip their business model with a genuine passion to support the vulnerable people in the community and their loved ones.”

Last year the Me2U Centre won the ‘Health & Wellbeing Business of the Year’ category of The Women’s Organisation’s Enterprising Women’s Awards 2018.

The value of the service the centre provides was emphasised in an independently produced report by EQE Health.

It stated: “The Me2U Centre provides main carers respite and peace of mind that their loved ones are being supported in a safe environment.

And it said: “Despite the Me2U Centre only being open for a very short space of time, it has achieved the four elements of what defines person-centred care.

“These elements are:

  • Valuing people with dementia and those who care for them
  • Treating people as individuals
  • Looking at the world from the perspective of the person with dementia
  • A positive social environment in which the person living with dementia can experience relative wellbeing

When lockdown is lifted Rosie said she plans to enhance the centre’s services, including keeping the crisis line, and is even considering the purchase of a bungalow to convert to assisted living and respite care.

She said: “I’ve got a fantastic team – I’m the face of Me2u, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the people I’ve got around me. They are so loyal and adaptable.”

You can find out more information about the Me2U Centre over on their website, Facebook & Instagram

For more information about the support available to help start or grow or adapt your new business through Enterprise Hub, please contact 

Best Way to Start a Business in a Pandemic? Ready, Set Go!

If you are wondering if starting a new business in the current climate is the right thing to do, Martine Gibson from ReadySetGo Success and Wellbeing's story is one for you to read.
With a gutsy determination and passion for the service she provides, she decided that there was no time like the present! As an integrative counsellor and life coach she feels that her services are needed now more than ever, and in these uncertain times that have seen an increase in mental health issues – particularly stress, anxiety and depression – she is determined to be there to support whoever and however she can.
Martine knows first-hand how easy it is to get stuck in a rut and end up down a path that you don’t want to be on.  But unlike most, she recognised where she was heading, didn’t like what she saw and took brave and drastic steps to turn her life around. As a single mum with a secure income, she took the decision to leave her job and go back to college to embark on a four-year journey to become something that she had always wanted to be......a person that empowers other people to become the best possible version of themselves.
Growing up with an older sibling who suffered with mental health issues, Martine witnessed the frustrations, devastation and challenges that are involved with mental health support.  It was this experience that set her heart and mind on helping people. She wanted to show people that they were amazing and strong, that they could do anything that they put their minds to and that someone believed in them.  She firmly believes that “no matter who you are, where you come from, how bad a start in life you have had, or what you are going through, anything is possible and dreams can be achieved”.
When asked if she had any wisdom or advice to people wanting to start their own business, Martine replied “My advice is simple, if you have a dream go for it!  No matter what obstacles are in your way, push through them, find a way to make it work. I was a penniless single mother, living away from my family and did not have a clue how to get here but what I did do was take the first step”.
Of her support from the Enterprise Hub, Martine said, “The support from the Enterprise Hub was an absolute blessing.  They supported me to shape my business plan, were there whenever I needed them (face to face and via email), provided me with lots of information and advice as well as being my sounding board.   The Enterprise Hub gave me access to training and all the resources I needed in order to set my business up and best of all it was FREE!  Heidi and the Enterprise Hub were instrumental in the setting up of my business and I shall be eternally grateful”.
ReadySetGo Success and Wellbeing is now up and running and available to anyone who needs mental and wellbeing support, both in the current climate and beyond. She has adapted her services to be able to provide online support and has introduced wellbeing check-ins to be able to help people on a one-off basis as opposed to her normal six-session packages. She is also currently offering FREE wellbeing sessions to any key or frontline workers.
For more information about Martine and her business ReadySetGo Success and Wellbeing
Instagram: r_s_g_2020
Facebook: Readysetgo Success and Wellbeing  

Friday, 24 April 2020

Enterprise Hub: The Double Negative in Conversation

People say that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the Plague, but how easy is it to create, write and produce during a global pandemic?  

The Double Negative explores what led them to their own arts criticism & cultural online publication and how freelancers can flourish in unprecedented times. 

The publication brings together contemporary arts and culture, journalism, blogging, and knowledge on independent art spaces, holding up a mirror to the UK arts scene. They successfully support and publish over 500 contributors who have gone on to write for Vice, The Guardian, and The Art Review. 

Join Mike Pinnington and Laura Robertson as they dissect what has made the Double Negative successful and examine why just because ‘it’s end of the world as we know it’ doesn’t mean it’s not a new beginning for something new and radical. 

At the end of the event there will be a chance to sign up with Enterprise Hub, a project that gets you free business advice at any stage of your career.

More about the speakers

Laura Robertson is a writer, critic and editor based in Liverpool. A reviewer of contemporary arts and culture for international magazines (including Frieze, Hyperallergic, Art Monthly, ArtReview, a-n), and broadcast (BBC Four Front Row), she is also co-founder and contributing editor at The Double Negative online magazine; an MA Writing student at the Royal College of Art; critical writer-in-residence at Open Eye Gallery; and a former director of The Royal Standard Gallery & Studios. She has edited and contributed writing to two new books in 2019: 'Present Tense', which comments on current tensions in the fields of art and culture; and ‘NOIT — 5: bodies as in buildings’, made on residency at Flat Time House, London. 
TW: @doublenegativeL

Mike Pinnington is a writer, editor and consultant based in Liverpool. He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of visual arts and cultural commentary publication The Double Negative. He co-edited and contributed to Present Tense (2019), a book of essays reflecting on the decade since Liverpool’s Capital of Culture Award. His writing has also appeared in The Art Newspaper, Art Quarterly, Art Review, Ocula and byNWR, amongst others. From 2013-18 he was Content Editor at Tate Liverpool where, working with the Exhibitions and Media & Audiences teams, he produced exhibition guides and catalogues, gallery interpretation, web content, and in-house publication, Compass. 

Writing on the Wall is a dynamic, Liverpool-based community organisation that coordinates projects and events that celebrate writing in all its forms. We work with a broad and inclusive definition of writing that embraces literature, creative writing, journalism and non-fiction, poetry, songwriting, and storytelling. Writing on the Wall works with local, national and international writers whose work provokes controversy and debate. We work with all of Liverpool’s communities to promote and celebrate individual and collective creativity.

Date: Weds 29th April, 1-2PM 
Tickets: Free, book place via Eventbrite here

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Business Resilience Support for SMEs

  • Are you a business with over £1m turnover and 10 employees?
  • Are you facing challenges within your business related to COVID-19?
  • Do you need focused help to work through options and design your future strategy?

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP) via Growth Platform, working closely with BEIS, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Local Authorities, other partners in the City Region, is looking to enhance the current business support available to business to include Business Resilience relating to COVID-19.
In order to respond to the economic challenges our City Region businesses are facing, we have extended our contract with BDO LLP to continue to deliver a pro-active programme of engagement, advice and support with SMEs across Liverpool City Region over the next 4 weeks focusing primarily on COVID-19 related issues.
The aim of this work is to ensure that businesses across Liverpool City Region have access to professional advisory support to aid them through the challenges they are facing due to COVID-19.

Services will include:
  • Professional Advisory support available to businesses with turnover between £1m and £45m, with at least 10 employees, who are facing challenges surrounding COVID-19.
  • A series of webinars will also be provided as part of the service and will be published for all businesses on our website and through social media.
  • and more!

N.B – Please note this service is free to eligible SMEs.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Create whilst you isolate.

The following is a guest blog from Catherine Rogers – Cut Out Collage

Whether you’re an art scene regular, a curious creative or stuck at home looking for things to do, making art during this period of isolation is a sure-fire way to positively impact your mental wellbeing and escape the worldwide conversation of these strange times!

Hi, I’m Catherine, the founder of Cut Out Collage. Before everything changed, I was running creative workshops across Liverpool, giving artist talks, exhibiting alongside collectives and selling original artworks at markets and events, so this current climate has had a huge impact on my business. Despite the curveball I’m committed to focusing on adaptation and how I can creatively respond to the current crisis. So, I’m going to share with my top tips for staying motivated amongst the mayhem.

Artists are still working, we’re just online

Art has not ceased, just the physical places we congregate and share it are closed. Creativity is very much alive in people’s homes, minds and spirits. Therefore, there is a ton you can still get involved with. I would suggest following local and international artists on social media so the content you are browsing each day can motivate and inspire you. I find new and exciting creatives everyday who are hosting online chats, workshops, all kinds of creative spaces and offerings. Following artists can feed your soul and help you discover things you may want to try at home.

Get making, keep making

Don’t know where to start, why not start a sketchbook? What an amazing time to experiment in this way. You can buy one online or use a spare notepad you may already have at home and give it a new lease of life.

Sketchbooks are great for scribbling down ideas, cutting and pasting old magazines into, sketching your garden or your family or to capture your work as you follow online tutorials. Also, when normality returns you will have a record of your creativity and productivity to show for it!  Who knows you may get hooked on sketch booking – it’s the best!

Share your masterpieces, inspire others

Artworks can have a huge impact upon those who view them. Never underestimate the transformational power of making art and sharing it with other people. The offering of something you have created to another person can have a profound effect on their day, so if you make something that lifts your spirits, let someone else be lifted by it to! I am loving the art being sent to my inbox, its inspiring and lets me know people are thinking of me, very encouraging indeed.

Support one another and say thank you

If people share images that move you and or you enjoy in some way, comment on them, let people know that their work has encouraged you. This wave of paying encouragement forward is hugely impactful, it can create a chain reaction of kindness from such a small gesture.

For me and my business, I want to say thank you to the Women’s Organisation and The Common Zine. I want to thank them for believing in my dreams, even before I completely did. They have encouraged me every step of the way and I have taken leaps I likely would not have if it hadn’t been for their support. If confidence is your barrier, I couldn’t recommend them both enough.

Join the Collage Revolution

Obviously, I’m a little bias about this one, but if you’re unsure about where to start I couldn’t recommend collage highly enough. I release weekly Cut Out Collage bitesize workshops on our YouTube channel and top tip videos on a Tuesday! It’s a new platform for Cut Out Collage, so we’re all in it together and learning as we go. There are also collage packs available on our Etsy store, so you have plenty of images to work with!

Thank you Catherine! If you would like to find out more about Cut Out Collage you can find them on:


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Boosting Team Morale Working from Home

It is vital that managers continue to make their workers feel appreciated whilst working from home during Covid19. This can be done by putting in place a strong employee recognition strategy. The same tactics that are effective in an office setting might not be as meaningful for people who are working from home. Please don’t forget to make the social and emotional well being of your staff a top priority during this time. Enterprise Hub has suggested new ways to boost employee morale at home.

Virtual Lunch and Coffee Breaks
Lunch breaks and regular coffee breaks with your team on a virtual setting can be just as fun as chatting in the staff room or a coffee shop. Video chat platforms such as Zoom, Ovoo or Skype are the preferred forms of video chatting. During these breaks ask your colleagues or employees questions other than work. A good morale does not always come from praise it can simply be from asking how they are and talking about their hobbies or recent events.

Regular Team Meetings
Weekly or even daily virtual team meetings to discuss work-related topics and check-in to see how team members are doing is important. This is an excellent way for team leaders and team members to show their support for one another and to share opinions and advice that they find helpful in work projects. Sorting myths and keeping employees calm is important when dealing with low morale during this time of covid19.

Address Staff concerns via Phone or Emails
You can still provide an “Open door” policy with staff despite working from home. Contact staff members individually to discuss their concerns regarding work or life in general during this time of uncertainty. individual staff members to learn about their concerns. Listening and addressing your staff concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic shows your employees that you care about their health, as well as their safety.

Employee recognition and rewards
Ensure that you continue recognise and reward individuals or teams who are making significant contributions and going beyond during this time. For example, some staff members may be going extra lengths to operate IT systems from home or balancing work with kids at home. Showing extra support and recognising their efforts boosts employee morale and reassure employees that their work is valued.  Employers may consider introducing a weekly email, which can be circulated to employees highlighting these achievements.

Fun Weekly Challenges
Create an online community group on Facebook or WhatsApp and create fun weekly challenges for staff to participate in. This could be posting a photo of their remote workspace, their favourite homemade meal recipes, posting a meme/gif that summarizes their life right now, or a photo of themselves wearing their favourite pyjamas.

Highlight the good news
We’re all familiar with the disappointing and frightening Headlines and we don’t need to spend any more time dwelling on the negative. Take some time to gather a few happy updates and share with the team each morning via word of mouth or via email. This will help give employees and co-workers a positive lift that they may need each morning.

If you'd like to speak to a member of our team to find out more about the support on offer, please contact us at or 0151 706 8113.

How to Cyber Protect your Business During COVID-19

Isolation during COVID-19 means that businesses have resorted to operating almost everything online with many employees working remotely. During this time of uncertainty, it is vital to stay vigilant of cyber-security risks. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to enable various types of fraud and cyber-crime. 

Email fraud ‘Phishing’
Email fraud is one of the most common types of fraud as it is easily done. Phishing refers to when fraudsters send false email messages requesting confidential information. During this time Fraudsters are sending out coronavirus themed phishing emails to trick people revealing personal information and financial details. These emails may be from could be from the Government asking for “research”. Common phishing emails might also be from HMRC, your bank, Apple and Amazon who claim that you need to click a link to change your password or a refund has been awarded and therefore they need your account details.

False emails may also be sent to staff claiming  to be from a senior member of staff  within the organisation such as a Director, CEO or Chairman etc. requesting an  urgent payment. They will often say that the payment is needed for urgent cleaning or medical supplies to help with coronavirus. It is crucial that you report phishing scams so information can be tracked but it’s also crucial to report these phishing emails so we can beat fraud. Fraudsters will try and target as many people as they can, so if you report the phishing email it can prevented from spreading further. 

Phone fraud (Vishing)
Vishing is the combination of voice and phishing. It is a phone scam where fraudsters target you by phone and try to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. Be alert to false calls linked to coronavirus as these could be from fraudsters who claim that they’re from the bank, the police, an IT company or an official health organisation. 
Never reveal personal information until you have validated that the caller is a genuine representative of the organisation. If you are unsure about a phone and hesitate to give out information reassure them that you will call them back when you are ready. If they are genuine, they will understand and welcome your need to validate them.

Invoice redirection
Fraudsters may act as a creditor or supplier and tell you their company’s bank details have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The communication will ask you for your account details and convince you to make all future payments to a new sort code and account number. To overcome this, it is important to be vigilant. Check and challenge any request to change account details. Contact suppliers and creditors independently to check the request is genuine, use contact details you already hold or that have been obtained independently rather than any included in the request. Once a payment has been made confirm with the intended beneficiary that it has been received.

For more information about the support available to help your business during the COVID-19 outbreak, contact Enterprise Hub on

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

How to conduct market research online

Market research for your business should never be underestimated! Successful start-ups are surviving in the long run because their owners are investing in market research to understand their target market, identify consumer problems and overcome competitors. Regularly conducting market research also allows you to identify trends, opportunities and potential threats in the market. Find below different ways you could conduct market research to suit your Business.

Customer Feedback
Online polls and surveys are a great way to understand customer experience and your position in the market. You can structure your research more effectively and collect specific information needed in your marketing campaign. Polls and surveys collect information that is more reliable as it explores several aspects relevant to your business. Also, be careful to keep them simple, as most online users may not have the attention span to answer lengthy or time-consuming questions.

Social Media 
Social media is a great way to start recognising conversations and mentions around your business idea. This will help you understand the language of your target customer base. Follow hashtags related to your business on social media platforms such as Instagram or twitter. This keeps you up to date. You can discover latest trends and use these for your product descriptions, blog posts, ads, social media, and promotions. Using the dialect of your target audience will help drive quality traffic to your site, build a loyal customer base, and spark conversions.

Search for "keywords" that people would use to find your type of products or services on the Internet. See how much interest there is in these keywords, what competitors are coming up? Is your Business at the top of the list? Keyword searches can also help remind you of product niches that you might not have considered. Using Google Ads helps you to discover keywords that have the highest search volume with the lowest competition. It also allows you to browse recommended or related keywords, so you can find a whole new group of terms that improve your search engine optimisation.

Competitor analysis
Don’t be afraid to keep track of your competition. Follow them on social media or check up on their online website. Take note of how they operate, maybe there is a weakness in their business that you can take advantage of. By learning what your competitors are up to you can also make decisions on which products to roll out and how to differentiate themselves in the market. It is important to know who your competitors although try not to get too caught up in their business that you forget about your own!

For more information about the support available to help with your market research, contact Enterprise Hub on