Not-for-profit website for disabled people and Personal Care Assistants – PA Pool is celebrating its 10th birthday this year.
The award-winning, market-leading website is for disabled people looking to employ a Personal Care Assistant (PA) or carer, and for PAs (carers) looking for work, allowing members to interactively manage their own recruitment or employment.
The site’s founder and director is graphic designer Katy Etherington (44), who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She came up with the idea when she discovered just how costly and time-consuming recruiting PAs could be.
Katy said, “Recruitment had always been the bane of my life, proving a hit and miss affair which was often both costly and time consuming. Being a graphic designer I’m a professional problem solver so I decided to put my mind to making the lives of PA Users and PA’s easier by eliminating some of the hassles of the recruitment process! From that simple desire PA Pool was born!”
Many disabled people have no choice but to rely on others, so it makes perfect sense that they have as much choice and input as possible over who comes into their home. PA Pool provides them with the resource to do this.
As Katy says: “Since PA Pool was launched my support has been much more stable, allowing me to get on with living! I often receive emails from members who say how useful they find PA Pool – it’s such an amazing feeling to hear how it’s helping so many people. And now 10 years on it’s grown into a UK-wide community.”
Over the past 10 years the site’s functionality has evolved – particularly when it comes to social media, which was very much in its infancy a decade ago. And last year, Katy redesigned the site, with its redevelopment managed by Indigo Tree Digital, offering enhanced functionality, improved security and accessibility.
There are more plans to further develop PA Pool – a ratings system will be added later this year 2017 and more functions are set to be introduced in 2018.
Katy has won a host of accolades since launching the site including being a finalist for Herts Business Awards, RADAR and Barclays Trading Places Awards. Katy has also received an AoC Association of Colleges Gold Award which was presented at the Houses of Parliament.
But the highest praise comes from those actually using the site:
“Really glad your website exists, its allowing us to keep my dad at home a bit longer.” TeamBrian, PA User
“I now find your service invaluable, because although I have a regular live in carer, I am constantly in need of cover when she is away.” Boo, PA User
“I found PA Pool very useful I think it is a very good site. It helps people to find what they are looking for clearly makes life easier as in finding a job as well as support for those who in needs.” Suzie, PA
“I think your site is excellent and very helpful for both the PA’s looking for work as well as the clients. Your site cuts a lot of the rigmarole etc that we find ourselves having to deal with these days.” MW, PA