Service background to local service As Bolsover District is one of the areas with the highest levels of disabled people and carers in England, Creswell’s Christina Goucher is well-placed to launch her domestic services for local people who need help at home due to their age or health conditions.      Christina’s own background is a positive asset: “I learned about caring for people and gained my qualifications when I was a Medical Assistant in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service,” she said, “I served at the Royal Naval Hospital and alongside aircrews at HMS Osprey and Portland.  Although I left to get married and raise my family, I have still spent much of the last 20 years caring for people - mainly in residential homes for the elderly and people with mental health conditions.  All of this means that I understand what is needed when people are using a wheel chair or have other mobility limitations, visual impairments and different disabilities.” “I empathise even more with my clients having been in the same position recently when my own ill-health meant I had to depend on others for help,” she explained, “Many of them have been active all their lives and suddenly find that they aren’t able to do even basic tasks like cleaning the house or reading the mail.  Some need help with the laundry or a meal cooked and most like the company of someone like me who’s good at talking and working at the same time.  I try to combine the social side with practical help so it’s more like a friendship.  It’s very rewarding and I really enjoy going to work.” Christina does even more for the Creswell community as she has been a school governor for the last five years. “I’ve always wanted to do something useful for society and, if I can make a difference, it makes me feel that I’ve done something worthwhile.” She was supported by the Work for Yourself project to start her new business and described life when she was unemployed, “I felt absolutely awful and completely useless when I wasn’t working.  I felt I was lumped in with people who are seen as lazy because I have a disability that others don’t see.  “The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough Councils.  It assists local people like Christina with long-term health conditions and disabilities to become self-employed and start their own businesses.    “Families know that they can rely on me to support an elderly or disabled relative,”  Christina said, “I do just about anything around the home and even the shopping or light gardening for my clients who are spread around Creswell, Mansfield and Worksop.” 
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