Where it started
Having had his own childhood experience of living in residential care, our founder Simon Barr wanted to make a difference and has dedicated the majority of his working life to supporting vulnerable young people.
From a seed of an idea in 2008 that would see WhiteTrees – SureCare being established to support young people who have difficulty either socially, emotionally or need one to one support, we provide specialist care homes and education.
Simon has had help and support along his journey from the highly qualified management team he has put together and is proud of the way they are dedicated to the WhiteTrees vision.
WhiteTrees opened its first home, Thornbury, in 2008 and has since opened 4 more. WhiteTrees Independent school opened in 2013 to provide the specialist education needed for the home’s residents and the local authorities, with a second site opened in 2020. WhiteTrees have since made huge improvements within the portfolio of residential, education and are currently acquiring more property for conversion.
In 2020 we decided to develop our business further, widening our activity in the care sector to more readily support our Local Authorities, staff and young people in providing quality essential service.
I decided to create a young person’s care group that would:
- Focus on the quality of care and not profit.
- Provide a rounded experience including the individual’s specialist care, educational and well-being needs.
- Define and deliver a range of quality-based brand
values and ideals.
- Support and invest in our staff and premises.
- Never stop looking for new ways to improve what we do and the experience we provide.
Since its inception in 2008, the business has developed and grown, now consisting of five homes and two schools. We have a property acquisition and development department, a recruitment and training team plus a well-being section, all focused on providing the very best care for our residents, all operating at a high level of service.
We have a very experienced management team who are all experts in their own fields and are here to help in any way they can. We are about to enter an exciting period of our development, planning to open more homes, extend our educational services plus spend more time and resources on recruiting and training our team of carers.
I believe that with passion and conviction the WhiteTrees team are building brighter futures for our young residents. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing if we can meet the needs of your young person.
Having had his own childhood experience of living in residential care, our founder Simon Barr wanted to make a difference and has dedicated most of his working life to supporting vulnerable young people.
From a seed of an idea in 2008 that would see WhiteTrees – SureCare being established to support young people who have difficulty socially and emotionally or need one-to-one support, we provide specialist care homes and education.
Watch the video for the full story from a talk with International Men’s Day.
Where WhiteTrees – SureCare started
Without the love and support of just a few kind and caring Individuals, SureCare may never have been created. Out of hundreds of professionals who affected his life during the time spent in care, only a very few succeeded in engaging and motivating him. Over the years, Simon asked himself so many times why, and the answer that kept coming back was that these few who truly cared about him and succeeded in building a strong bond and relationship with him had made a difference.
Simon’s experiences as a young boy formed the ethos behind SureCare which are still very much in place today. In December 2008 SureCare opened the door of our its first home with the aim of accepting every young person and to start the process of building relationships based on trust and honesty that would start to make the difference in their lives.
One factor that Simon struggled with was how a number of the organisations he had previously either worked in or come into contact with seemed not genuinely child-focused. They were constantly talking about being so but, somewhere along the way, this key focus was being lost in translation. It was difficult to see whether the problem was down to the severity of the children’s behavioural problems or whether it was the actual care environment that was not quite right. This was the driving force behind our model and how our homes were staffed and maintained to look and feel like family homes.
It was felt that low staffing ratios, insufficient input from appropriately qualified professionals and an absence of proper programmes evolved for the particular needs of the young person were all largely responsible for the lack of success in turning around the lives of these young people.
Simon also knew that perhaps another one of the biggest factors in achieving success was to ensure we cared as much about our staff as the young people we care for. They both need to learn, be supported and receive encouragement in just the same way. They both need appropriate facilities, tools and support to be able to achieve the outcomes that we strive to give our young people.
We truly believe that to work successfully with challenging behaviours the psychology behind them must be understood and as such we quickly made links with a remarkable psychologist who not only began providing our staff with training and clinical supervision but collaborated with us on our outstanding clinical assessments and treatment plans for our young people.
Since opening, SureCare have has five successful well-appointed homes in Hertfordshire and Essex, a well-trained and enthusiastic staff compliment led by a team of top, home-grown, professionals who share our ethos, and a fine record of helping young people to move towards fulfilling adulthood.
In addition, we have an Independent school ‘White Trees’ which provides an individually tailored programme of education to our students but first and foremost nurtures them as individuals who have had little or no success in schools previously.
Our plan in moving forward is to scale what we do and acquire more homes and develop our educational facility and along the journey improve our specialist services, therefore creating the WhiteTrees Group as part of our natural and organic progression.