Ben Slater, Managing Director of Nellie Supports

In the world of adult social care in the UK, there’s a remarkable leader by the name of Ben Slater. Ben is a guiding light and passionate advocate who is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those he serves. As the Managing Director of Nellie Supports, Ben brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the well-being of his communities.

Ben’s journey is like a Harry Potter story, where unexpected events become the catalysts for greatness. With a first-class honours degree from the University of Lincoln, Ben originally hoped for a 2:1. However, fate had bigger plans in store for him. This unexpected achievement not only boosted his confidence but also paved the way for his entrepreneurial venture, Nellie Supports. “The confidence I gained from my grade has helped me start Nellie Supports and believe in my own ability to learn,” Ben shares.

At times, life can throw us unexpected challenges, but it’s how we respond to them that matters. Ben is an inspiration to us all, showing us that with determination, hard work, and a positive mindset, we can achieve greatness. With a background deeply rooted in Social Work, Ben’s vision for Nellie Supports is grounded in the values and ethics of the profession. His expertise has been pivotal in creating a robust team that extends support not only to Social Work professionals but also to the administrative team. “My background in Social Work has been instrumental in creating the voice of Nellie Supports,” Ben shares.

Ben’s academic achievements extend beyond accolades—they shape his approach to social care services. Acknowledging the importance of research, reflection, and theoretical understanding, Ben emphasises how this learning culture contributes to providing higher-quality reports and assessments. For Nellie Supports, knowledge isn’t just power; it’s the cornerstone of compassionate, informed care.

Journey of Determination and Triumph

Ben’s journey from being an agency social worker to becoming the CEO of Nellie Supports is a story of perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit. He was disenchanted by the lack of respect for social work as a profession and decided to take matters into his own hands. With support from the University of Lincoln, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, business acumen, and a relentless work ethic. The result of his hard work and dedication is Nellie Supports, a leading provider of independent, modern adult social care.

Ben’s accreditation as a financial vulnerability assessor, Montreal cognitive assessor, and ACEII assessor is not just a list of credentials; it is a testament to his commitment to enhancing the services provided by Nellie Supports. These qualifications offer insights into cognitive impairments and play a vital role in identifying vulnerabilities and safeguarding the well-being of clients.

A Vision Born from Compassion and Innovation

In the heart of Nellie Supports lies a profound inspiration rooted in a desire to transform the landscape of adult social care services. Ben says, “Nellie Supports was born out of a genuine need, a desire to bridge the gaps and offer meaningful support to those navigating the complex journey of adult social care.”

Ben’s journey started with a poignant encounter: “I worked for a local authority and helped a lady who was going through a revolving door from hospital to home. She had little support from family, and the answer in my mind was quite simple: ongoing reviews from a Social Worker.” This simple yet powerful realisation laid the groundwork for Nellie Supports, evolving from a receiving service to Nellie+, celebrated for its expert mental capacity assessments.

“At Nellie Supports, our principles are grounded in Social Work values and ethics. We started because we wanted to help people, and our commitment to ethically priced services reflects our belief that protection and support should be available to everyone,” Ben emphasises. It’s this commitment that sets Nellie Supports apart, making crucial services accessible to all.

Addressing the Challenges in the Adult Social Care Landscape

Reflecting on challenges in the UK’s adult social care landscape, Ben notes, “The biggest challenge individuals face is that most local authorities’ adult social care is either overwhelmed or will be short.” He articulates the urgency, especially for those self-funding their care, as they face potential delays. Ben’s concern is palpable as he speaks about the escalating dementia cases, emphasising the need for innovative solutions.

“We have a streamlined approach to accessing our services,” Ben explains, highlighting the commitment to efficiency. “We quickly learned two things during the pandemic: we need to always be moving and looking ahead, whether this is at technology or training, and secondly, not to react without all the facts.” This adaptive mindset led Nellie Supports to offer both in-person and video-link assessments, a testament to their commitment to responsible and versatile client care.

On the flip side, as a practice supervisor, Ben’s commitment to education shines through: “We have taken several students on placements, and as we are a fairly unique practice working in the private sector, we can spend more time working with students on legislation, theories, and models.” His mentorship provides students with a valuable opportunity to understand the practical implications of their studies.

In the tapestry of adult social care, Nellie Supports emerges not just as a service provider but as a visionary solution driven by compassion, innovation, and a commitment to inclusivity. To echo Ben’s sentiments, “Nellie Supports is not just a service; it’s a testament to our journey, expertise, and unwavering commitment to fostering positive change.”

Beyond Care – Impacting Communities and Businesses

In the expansive realm of adult social care, Nellie Supports stands out not just for its commitment to individual well-being but for its profound impact on communities and businesses. “At Nellie Supports, we believe in responsible business practices,” Ben emphasises. Recognising the environmental impact of travel, the team took a proactive approach during the 2019 environmental protests. “We identified that our carbon footprint was high due to our travel,” Ben explains. The solution? A partnership with Ecologi as a founding member, offsetting their carbon footprint through tree planting initiatives. “As a practice, we have funded over 5000 trees to be planted, offsetting in excess of 230 tonnes of carbon,” Ben proudly shares, showcasing their commitment to environmental responsibility.

Nellie Supports extends its positive impact to the local community by sponsoring two children’s football teams. Ben expresses deep pride in this initiative, recognising that it goes beyond physical benefits for the children. “We see children not only gaining physical benefits but also learning positive criticism, teamwork, managing their own emotions, and more,” Ben explains. It’s a holistic approach to community engagement that transcends the immediate and invests in the future.

To support the business community further, Nellie Supports launched Nellie Con, a social-legal conference that garnered great success at its inaugural event. “Nellie Con was a great way of saying thank you to our business community,” Ben notes. The conference provides a unique platform for professionals from the social care and legal professions to network, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. “It allows for a network to be created from two entwined yet different sectors, ultimately benefiting the professionals we work with as well as their clients,” Ben highlights.

Beyond its direct initiatives, Nellie Supports extends its impact through support for the MCF (Masonic Charitable Foundation), a philanthropic organisation sponsoring various charities and individuals. By aligning with the MCF, Nellie Supports contributes to a broader spectrum of positive change.

As Nellie Supports expands its services, including life expectancy reports, Educational Health Care Plan Appeal support, and the comprehensive case management service, Nellie+, Ben envisions a future where the organisation plays a pivotal role in alleviating pressures on local authorities. “There is potential for Nellie Supports to take pressures off of local authorities, allowing them to focus their resources on those that desperately need their support,” Ben explains, hinting at a transformative role in reshaping the landscape of adult social care in the UK.

Forging Ahead into a Future of Innovation and Compassion

The journey of Nellie Supports, under the visionary leadership of Ben Slater, extends beyond its current accomplishments. “The future goals of Nellie Supports as a mental capacity assessment service and as a Social Work practice continue to be to develop and grow,” Ben affirms. The focus remains unwavering—to offer the best possible services and steadfast support to the communities they serve. This commitment reflects Nellie Supports’ dedication to evolving alongside the needs of individuals and the ever-changing landscape of adult social care.

Ben is keenly aware of the challenges looming in the social care landscape. “Over the next few years, we are going to see greater pressure placed on local authorities, primarily due to the increase in people living with dementia,” Ben observes. While acknowledging potential funding constraints, he sees a potential game-changer on the horizon—Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Ben envisions AI as a pivotal player in reshaping adult social care. “The biggest change to come is going to be AI,” he predicts. While acknowledging the justified wariness surrounding AI, Ben sees its potential if used appropriately. “If used appropriately, it could be a tool that reduces pressure and sees better outcomes for many individuals,” he notes.

In the next five to ten years, Ben anticipates AI making its mark in the adult social care sector. “It’s likely AI will start to complete care assessments as ‘online self-assessments,’ potentially reducing pressures on local authorities and NHS service providers,” he explains. As a private practice, Nellie Supports is already at the forefront of this exploration. “We are already investigating and testing AI to see how it can be used as a reflective tool to improve and support our Social Workers’ practice,” Ben shares. However, he emphasises that while AI can be a valuable tool, it will not replace the irreplaceable—human decision-making that is integral to the role of a social worker.

Nellie Supports, under Ben’s leadership, stands at the intersection of innovation and compassion. The vision is not just about adapting to change but pioneering it, ensuring that the organisation remains at the forefront of providing exceptional care while embracing the transformative potential of technology. As the future unfolds, Nellie Supports is poised to be a beacon of progressive and compassionate adult social care services.

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