Amal and Pip Bhurrut have joined the Guardian Angel Carers franchise family as new owners of two territories covering Mid-Sussex, Horsham and Crawley. Both know health and care well. Now, they're bringing those skills to the business of home care
“It was meant to be,” says Pip, as she talks about how she and her husband Amal have gone into business together.
With 20-year careers in the NHS, both are highly accomplished in their professions. Pip has a background in physiotherapy and specialises in treating chronic pain conditions. Amal is a highly qualified nurse who works in intensive care.
Care is a vocation handed down to them through both their families. Amal’s mother was a nurse, and his grandfather received an MBE for his services to care in the community. While Pip’s 101-year-old grandmother was a trained nurse, and her mother a midwife. “There’s no getting away from it!” laughs Amal.
This year they’ve taken a big step to invest in their future by becoming business franchise owners and part of the Guardian Angel Carers team. After a detailed discovery process, they see that they can follow a values-based life, and enjoy the benefits of being their own boss. “We have an overwhelming desire to run a home care business. We know we can bring our care and management skills and have the compassion needed to make a difference,” adds Pip.
Personal experience has compounded their belief in home care as a positive choice. Pip’s father was cared for at home by Guardian Angel Carers. And Amal notes that home care is a big part of the culture in Mauritius, where he spent his childhood. “Being able to help people by providing outstanding care at home is what we both want to do,” he says.
They recognise that although they have not been ‘business’ people or ‘gone it alone’ until now, the Guardian Angel Carer franchise model offers a perfect solution to achieve that goal. Its infrastructures plus a high support ratio will help them develop the business skills they need to succeed, giving them the confidence to take the leap.
Christina and the franchise support team are there to answer any questions. Vicky Brown, the franchise recruitment manager, also checks in with them every week to guide and advise on how to run a ‘healthy’ business. “It’s so good to know that anything we’ve got questions about, we can just ring and get a solution in place. Their flexibility is great,” says Amal.
At the start of this business ownership journey that expert support has helped them create a business plan, apply for a bank loan and agree on contracts for their new premises. “We’re not naïve about the hard work ahead in the next couple of years, but we’re confident that with the input from the GAC franchise team we can run a successful, full-time business. We’re looking forward to being happy and financially secure for the long term,” says Pip.
With Guardian Angel Carers, they also know that their values and approaches are aligned. Pip knew founder Christina from school and enjoyed following her Olympic journey and her business ventures into home care. “It was when my dad needed care that we reconnected. They did a wonderful job. So, I guess they’ve always been on our radar,” she adds.
Now feels like the right time for home care too. They’ve seen first-hand how older people are living longer with chronic conditions and know they can help. “People want the choice to be at home when it comes to the point of care, and more and more families appreciate that it is now possible,” says Amal.
They are excited to be at the forefront and part of a growing home care franchise team with a shared vision to positively evolve care. They’ve been in touch with other franchisees, including Tim Corry and Alex Duncan in Farnham and Lou Cobban in Spelthorne, to share insights. Pip uses the idea of a ‘golden thread’ that weaves through a successful service and business, which often emerges from the values at the heart of the people involved.
They intend to keep that golden thread of compassion weaving throughout their franchises and community, to serve as ambassadors for the older generation, with whom they get on so well. In the medium term, they want to introduce spaces for people to meet and socialise. “We love to give our skilled help but also to engage with older people on a human level - to hear about their lives and stories,” says Pip.
And they intend to share their health and care knowledge by helping people to live with chronic conditions in better ways when facing physical limitations. “We will be able to offer expertise on reablement, rehabilitation, home adaptations and act as a signposting service for health and social needs,” Amal adds.
Christina is often quoted as saying ‘if you do the job you love, you won’t work a day in your life’. For this caring couple that couldn’t be more apt. Every year, they take time to help doctors and nurses support those in need, maybe requiring care and medical assistance, by visiting Lourdes in France. “It’s something we’ve done as a couple, and now family, for over 15 years. It’s important to us to keep giving back in ways where our skills can make a difference in peoples’ lives,” says Pip.
For them personally, they value the flexibility and compassionate focus of the Guardian Angel Carers’ culture. And when they get into their business stride, they hope those benefits will give them more family time. They enjoy time together doing simple things, going to the park, exploring nature and cooking. “Amal is a very, very good cook, and I bake ok cakes!” says Pip. Amal also has a strong passion for flying and flight instructing. “It’s so different but a wonderful way to de-stress,” he says.
For now, they’re getting their Guardian Angel Franchise flying. After their first few months, they feel prepared, and they know they’ll be cool under pressure as they navigate this new route. “We’re ready, we’re definitely ready!” they agree.