Sally Wilse, co-owner of Seniors Helping Seniors UK, talks about her own redundancy and how she got into the care business
The catastrophe of lockdowns, sudden changes to shielding rules, lay-offs and redundancies has been excruciatingly difficult.
Seniors Helping Seniors is one of those rare opportunities where people can use the changes they want to make in their own lives to help others.
Secure your financial future
Sally Wilse, co-owner of Seniors Helping Seniors UK, says: “People who want to secure their financial future, work from home and help others are welcome to talk to me to hear what life is like as a Seniors Helping Seniors business owner.
“Starting Seniors Helping Seniors in the UK was fuelled by the fact that my own redundancy was age related.
“Talk to anyone who is forced out of work early and they’ll tell you about the waste of experience. The clarity around the Seniors Helping Seniors notion of valuing age and experience came to me at a very good time.”
The simplicity of Seniors Helping Seniors struck her deeply, according to Sally.
She adds: “When people care for loved ones, they become experts in the condition their loved one has. They go on a very steep learning curve. When those people want to go back to work, that experience becomes marketable expertise through us.
“People with professional or lived experience of caring are very well placed to help others with primary care. And that happens to be the care in highest demand.
“Seniors Helping Seniors matches experienced carers who want to work part-time with clients who need support, providing exemplary, reliable care services and ideal working conditions for people as they age.”
Perfect primary care
Seniors Helping Seniors helps people stay well and out of hospital.
“Care Commissioning Groups have called Seniors Helping Seniors ‘perfect primary care’ and much of our business comes from referrals from GPs, discharge teams and care navigators in the community,” Sally says.
“During the lockdowns, clients came to us because they knew we had capacity and we could manage. The reason we could manage was our unique workforce. Our carers are truly amazing and stop at nothing to help out.”
Looking for ambitious partners
Being in business for yourself, but not by yourself is the bonus of franchising.
“The giving back is about employing local people in well paid, valued jobs they love to do and helping solve the crisis of elderly care.” Sally says.
“We are a link to community resources and every person you deal with is grateful for the help the service provides.”
Addressing prospective partners, Sally says: “We reduced our management fee to help people get started in the South East and East UK during the pandemic.
“You can be as ambitious as you like about your future because the company supports businesses with turnovers between £500,000 and £3 million annually and you can be sure you’ll be doing something rewarding every day.
“We’re looking for people who want to use their business skills to make positive change in people’s lives and to own their own business doing so. Our partners have all sorts of professional backgrounds. It’s a management business, so professional care experience is not required.
“We could not have done this without recognising the full value of experience - people with local experience of caring for someone living with dementia and other conditions and people with management experience and the ambition to own their own business.
“Focusing on mature and experienced carers has ensured our business owners never have a problem recruiting and retaining outstanding carers and our social impact is twice that of any care company.
“We are in the unique position of having the highest margins in the business, the lowest overheads, the happiest carers and our clients are raving fans.
“Trust grew exponentially during 2020, since we managed to keep all carers and all clients COVID-19 free and we earned a S.A.F.E. care badge of honour. If you were to start on your own, you’d have to wait years for trust like this to evolve.”