Maison Moti was born out of the determination and single-mindedness of one woman, Mrs. Maya Mahtani, who following the unexpected death of her husband decided that she wanted to do something that made a real and positive lasting impact on the lives of vulnerable people.
Having always been interested in mental health Mrs. Mahtani decided to learn more about the needs of people suffering from mental illness by undertaking work experience at a care home.
This experience of working directly with the residents of the home was all the assurance that Mrs. Mahtani needed to confirm her desire to set up her own service to do more for this client group.
She did not realise at that stage the actual level of ignorance, and even prejudice, she would need to contend with.
It seemed that everyone she spoke to about her plan to provide services for people with mental health raised objections, largely due to their own preconceived and stereotypical ideas of what people with a mental illness were like. This was to be something that Mrs. Mahtani was going to face a lot of, in particular the ‘not in my back yard’ attitude when it came to establishing the locations of Maison Moti’s services and local residents’ involvement in obtaining planning consent.
Rather than deterring Mrs. Mahtani it made her even more determined. The relentless way in which she dealt with such objections is typified by a comment that she has become well known for over the years: “today it is someone else’s relative, tomorrow it could be yours…”
In 1993 Mrs. Mahtani opened the doors to Maison Moti Care Home, which was in fact her own home at the time, where she continued to live with her family until the 4th service user moved in. At that point Maison Moti was a family run service with everyone mucking in to help with the various tasks involved in running a residential care home.
Mrs. Mahtani went to great lengths to ensure that the service users’ needs were put first. The property was decorated and furnished to a high standard and service users were made to feel very much at home, respected and treated as individuals as well as made to feel part of the ‘family’. Initially this was Mrs. Mahtani’s own family but as the number of service users increased, the family involvement decreased and the business employed external staff, the ‘family’ experience was centered on the staff and residents in the scheme. And in turn, as the number of schemes increased the notion of family grew to that where staff and service users working within other schemes represented the extended family.
Other things that Mrs. Mahtani would do included frequent contact with service users’ own families, ensuring that they had regular activities, and providing them with an annual holiday.
This concept of providing a personal experience for service users is something that we have very carefully maintained throughout the company’s growth and development. To this day Mrs. Mahtani, who is now less involved in the management of the company, regularly visits service users to ensure that they are receiving the quality of service at Maison Moti that she feels so passionately about.
Going from strength to strength Maison Moti now has 5 service groups in its step down range of mental health services, catering for upwards of 60 service users at any one time. The services have evolved organically as a result of our success in preparing service users to move on to less supported services, which will always remain our number one priority.