Paul and Jo Hamilton, owners of Blossom Home Care Teesdale and Weardale, were the pioneers of the Blossom franchise network. It’s safe to say the risk has paid off
Paul and Jo Hamilton have always done things their own way. Having finished their careers, most people would be looking forward to more time relaxing but the duo did something different. “We could have just carried on with a comfortable life but chose instead to do something we could look back on with pride,” says former IT consultant Paul.
With several companies refusing to provide quality care to their beautiful but remote slice of County Durham, Paul and former district nurse, Jo, took it upon themselves to serve the local community.
“Blossom is very different to other providers,” says Paul. “Jo, being a district nurse, has seen the outcomes and sometimes the damage that bad care can do and the effect it has on people. But Blossom’s care model ensures things are right. Everything related to care is covered so that everything is correct and safe and the care delivered is as perfect as it can be.
“The whole set-up of Blossom is fantastic. We wouldn’t have even contemplated starting a business like this without their help. We wouldn’t have had a clue where to start.”
Blossom’s commitment to 50-minute calls and visits to clients is something that Paul knows locals appreciate.
“We’ve had some fantastic reviews and feedback, and we’re particularly proud of what we’ve been able to do for one client who’d been looked after for three years but had only been getting 15-minute visits. He was in a state of disrepair. He was uncomfortable and unhappy and his mood was very low. His family were very unhappy, too, and felt helpless. Within two weeks, we changed his outlook on life. He’s clean and comfortable, he’s happy, his family are happy and he’s in the best situation possible in his circumstances,” explains Paul.
Paul and Jo’s work hasn’t just changed the lives of clients but their team of highly trained carers too.
Paul explains: “They can’t believe the difference in their own work-life balance. We have one carer who feels she’s got her life back. She’s now got the time to care, the time to breathe, the time to reflect both physically and emotionally, and she looks different, happier and healthier.”
Despite being the first franchise in the Blossom Home Care network, Paul and Jo have swept aside more established competitors to win the Best Business Award at the Teesdale Business Awards – in just their second year of operation and during a pandemic.
The judges for the awards noted that during what had been a tough period for the care industry and despite having a tricky patch to manage, Paul and Jo had delivered quality care throughout.
Paul says: “One of the judges at the awards said we were head and shoulders above the rest in terms of management of the business as we’ve demonstrated great growth in our first year. We manage the business and look after our staff perfectly, and we’ve shown a massive resilience to get through these last 12 months.”