So what would it cost to have a Just Company companion? This is a question we are asked all the time, a question hard to answer. The question is what is the ‘price’ of companionship? Someone who brings happiness and friendship who is dependable, respectful and trustworthy. This companion brings relief from long periods of isolation, boredom – bringing a welcome break from being trapped in one place, with no break, sometimes for days and weeks on end.Why is it hard to answer, because there are a multitude of variations. Firstly, Companionship is what you pay for. This is the feedback from a daughter who asked Just Company to visit her mum, who is in a residential home, twice a week for four hours: ‘I want to share something mum said to me the other day. She was very tearful that day, but she enjoyed opening some presents I had taken her. After she had opened them all, she said – ’ “Do you know what the very best present I have received is?” I said I couldn’t guess and she kept telling me she wasn’t sure she could tell me what it was. But when I pressed her, she told me that her very best Christmas present was Viv (Just Company companion), because she has transformed my life.” We both shed a tear! Another client wrote to say: ‘(My Just Company companion)…picked me up for my day out. I had chosen to visit the Lake District, which included a trip to Brantwood, then lunch followed by a lovely sail on the steam yacht gondola. It was a delightful day out. This was a birthday present from my son, and will take some following next year. He (my son) was so pleased that he will be recommending Just Company’. Secondly, the ethos of Just Company is to recruit only companions who are of a standard which reflects the experience and understanding they bring to the company. Reflecting the quality of our companions is evident in how much we pay them. We will not just pay the minimum wage, or even living wage, we pay our companions a wage appropriate to their quality, their work experience and standard of practice expected. Just Company is not just about visiting someone and maybe doing jobs about the home and garden, it about building meaningful relationships. It’s about breaking the isolation and loneliness often experienced by older people as they become less able to get out and about. Its about keeping mentally and/or physically active and enjoying life. After an initial one-off registration fee of £97, we charge £25 per hour. The registration includes Just Company meeting with the client, allows us to find out likes and dislikes. The registration is essential to gather relevant information such as medical considerations, social and family networks. Then using this information we match a client with a companion. Following registration, it’s an open book. Outings are booked, visits arranged and quality time is had. Here are some cost examples: Two hours, e.g. A walk and a visit to a cafe = £50 Or one of our compions could visit every other week for three hours = £75 One outing a week for four hours, e.g. A drive out for lunch, the cinema, shopping, garden centre or a walk before lunch at a local beauty spot = £100 Or one outing or visit for one day a month =£200. This day could be to visiting a stately home, a visit to a centre of culture, visit an old haunt or visit a shopping centre. These outings can include appointments, visiting others or just quality time together. “I really look forward to you coming, to take me out and away from these four walls.” One thing to note is we really care about our clients but we are not Carers. Any expenses incurred are the responsibility of the client. Travel expenses start and finish at the client’s place of residence.