For over 35 years, Flexicare has provided free, flexible babysitting for families with a severely disabled child. Our founder Sue Kenrick recognised that families with a disabled child struggled to find friends, neighbours or relatives capable of looking after their child. Decades later we still recognise this and try to provide families on our books with a service that allows them to do things others take for granted. Whilst we will not sit for work, there is little else we will not sit for, examples include: one-on-one time with siblings, nights out with friends, dentist appointments, yoga classes, or a quiet cup of coffee.
As a charity, not a statutory agency, we offer services led by the needs of our families. Flexicare operates within an eight to ten-mile distance of Oxford city centre, as well as the areas of Wantage and Grove (there is a guidance map on our contact page). Anyone can refer a child for registration, full details of how to make a referral can be found here, but do look at the Refer page to check out our criteria for registering a family.
Flexicare is staffed by a manager/coordinator, three part-time coordinators, and a team of volunteers. We are all DBS checked and trained appropriately in safeguarding, first aid, seizure awareness, safe medication administration and lifting and handling. We also receive child specific training as necessary. We are registered with the Care Quality Commission as a Domiciliary Care Agency.
To keep our costs as low as possible, staff work from their homes and except for a weekly staff meeting when the phone is answered in person, all calls go to voicemail and we answer as soon as we can. We need to raise over two thirds of our costs each year. We do this through regular fundraising events we run ourselves, 2 fundraising events put on by the lovely Flexicare Supporters, donations from our local community and grants from local Trusts and Foundations. The rest of our money comes from a grant from Oxfordshire County Council. Have a look at our volunteering page on how you can help us with fundraising or our donate page for how to assist with our costs.