How we got started

Elbow Grease was founded by North London Homecare and Support Ltd, (NLHS) a private limited company providing Home Based Support Services. NLHS deliver services in Harlow. Many of the people who receive our services have a Learning Disability.

Essex County Council commissions some of the services NLHS provide under contract. In 2008 NLHS consulted their Service Users, to find out what would most enhance their well-being.

The Service Users and their carers told us that they wanted somewhere to go, where activities would be meaningful, where they could learn new things, discover their local community and give their carers the opportunity for short periods of respite. With this idea we successfully bid for a quality grant.

With this grant, CARS was formed (Community, Access, Respite, Support).

During CARS, further consultation with the members told us that they wanted to develop their skills further, participate in meaningful activities and give to others in their local community. In return, they would develop their own personal experiences, skills, confidence and work etiquette.

With the support of Co-operatives UK and further funding from Essex County Council, The Elbow Grease Co-operative Ltd was formed. We were incorporated on 27th August 2010.