A North Tyneside entrepreneur who has built a successful business helping to meet the support needs of people with learning disabilities and Autism is looking to pass his knowledge on to younger people who want to follow in his footsteps.

Nigel Devine set up Orbis Support in Whitley Bay in 2016 to offer bespoke packages of support to people with learning disabilities and Autism who wish to live in the community in their own home.

The business grew quickly on the back of referrals from the NHS, local authorities and the families of those who needed assistance, and now supports 18 people, each of whom receives support tailored to their specific needs.

Nigel remains personally involved with the support provided for each person connected to Orbis  – and now, rather than continuing to grow the business to the point where this degree of involvement is no longer possible, he is looking to identify a number of younger people who he can help set up their own services which operate to the same standard and deliver the right kind of care.

Stephen Slater, commercial services director at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, is working with Nigel on developing Orbis’s business structure as part of the project.

Orbis supports adults and children facing a range of issues, including learning disabilities, autism, behavioural challenges, enduring mental health difficulties and physical disabilities.

Individual requirements are identified through interviews with families, NHS representatives and the person themselves.

A team is then recruited which can meet the person’s personal objectives and support needs, with the individual  having approval over the staff who form part of this team and the home in which they are being supported  to live.

Nigel Devine says: “The people and families with whom we’re working often face extremely complex and challenging situations, and our aim is to put measures in place which enables each person to live a fulfilling life in their local community.

“The support model that we’ve developed has been proven to work time and time again, and the positive, long-term impact that it makes on their lives has been recognised time and again by the people we support, as well as by families and the care commissioners with which we work.

“We’re close to the number of people that we can support while retaining a meaningful personal relationship with them all, which is the fundamental principle on which the business’s success has been based.

“Demand is continuing to increase for the type of support we offer, but instead of simply expanding indiscriminately and moving away from what we know works, I want to widen the range of service providers that work to the standards that we have set.

“We’re encouraging our existing staff to go for this opportunity themselves and would welcome interest from other people working in the health and social care. We want to support people with the same values and passion as we hold who are determined replicate the service standards we work to.

“We pride ourselves and paying some of the best wages in the sector, and also train our staff to the highest standard bringing in trainers from across the UK and North America.

“We continually strive towards improving the working conditions of our staff and have also recently benefitted from the support of RMT Accountants in implementing a sickness and life assurance scheme for all of our staff.

“RMT’s support is giving us the confidence to develop and enhance our operational structures and we’re seeing positive tangible outcomes resulting for our staff and the business in general.”

Stephen Slater at RMT Accountants adds: “Nigel and his team take a hugely-detailed approach to meeting some extremely challenging situations and they are setting the industry standard for how these services can be devised and delivered.

“We’re very pleased to be supporting Nigel’s drive towards broadening the implementation of his successful ways of working and to helping Orbis evolve as a business.”