Leaving no one alone on their care journey
At Wayfinder CIC, we want to create hope-giving care networks. We are not-for-profit company, driven by our lived experiences. We're developing a digital peer support platform to help carers navigate their care journeys more easily. We believe that carers' needs are of equal importance to the needs of those they care for, so our platform enables carers to communicate with peers, access recorded advice and information, asess and record their care experience, and capture changes and progress made throughout their journey.
We believe that providing access to the right information at the right time empowers communities by nurturing the wellbeing of carers and improving outcomes for people being cared for. Though we're beginning in the healthcare sector, we believe that Wayfinder CIC's peer support approach could enable hope-giving care networks in social care and other fields too. We will help people find ways to cope at every step, and encourage them to use lived experience to support others.
Why a CIC?
On a mission to support human networks, being a Community Interest Company, or CIC, gives us the opportunity to support communities through our community interest activities, projects, and employment for local students and graduates. In essence, being a CIC helps us to make sure the compassion we feel on the inside, shows on the outside too.
Our new normal
The Covid-19 pandemic affected many aspects of our everyday lives – seeing loved ones, travelling, accessing education, hobbies, and social interactions. We lost control of our lives, and because of that, we witnessed a mental health pandemic alongside that of the physical virus.
As we begin to return to normal life, the number of people needing care is increasing. And so are the waiting lists to access those services. In the meantime, a digital peer support platform like Wayfinder could offer a useful intermediary for staying connected, monitoring progress, and making sure no carer feels left behind. In our ever-online world, digital platforms are a necessary tool to support (but not replace) care networks both for and after diagnosis.
We're inspired by our lived experiences. The story of Mondrem's Director Sarah, and her daughter, Katie, became a core influence behind our ambition to deliver hope-giving care networks...
Beginning with a girl called Katie, who was 14 and full of self-doubt. She became good at being unkind to herself, and not so good at sharing her thoughts with her friends and family or taking notice of all the great qualities she possessed. Over time, Katie began to search for ways to gain control over her anxiety. By restricting what she ate, her desire for control spiralled into a fear of food and she was caught in the grips of Anorexia Nervosa. Katie needed help, and so did her family.
Sarah had worked with public organisations most of her career. But despite her experience of mental health service delivery, finding help for Katie was hard. She found the internet to be full of useful information scattered randomly. Finding the right information at the right time is often down to luck over judgement, and sometimes that information is too confusing. She didn’t always feel listened to. Knowing that Katie’s treatment relied on saying the right things to the right people made Sarah anxious. With so many young people like Katie in ‘The System’, how is anyone heard by the right people, at the right time?
When Katie was seen by an eating disorder team, her family were full of hope and trust. It was going to be a long road, and the main carers were Sarah and her husband, Ian. But juggling work with full-time care was hard, and Katie's family felt isolated. Were they doing a good job? They had nothing to compare themselves to.
Thankfully, they were doing a good job, and although the road wasn’t a straight one, and some days seemed terrible and dark, there were moments of hope and the odd thing to be happy about. It became important to take note of the journey. These notes offered guidance through a long and unpredictable time.
Although Katie wouldn’t say so herself, she’s a pretty determined young person. She named her eating disorder Edwardine and likened her to a Harry Potter Dementor. She did get really very poorly, and then she got better. Katie will always need to manage Edwardine, and wanted to do something to help others who have similar experiences. She is teaching herself piano and wants to pursue a career in therapy. She is unsure of what type yet, but we know that whatever she does we will always be proud of her.