Local care company hits 1000 weekly care hours milestone

Local at-home care provider, Visiting Angels, celebrated a momentous milestone this week – delivering 1000 hours of care to local residents. Almost two years to the day since signing its first client, the Sheffield-based company is now supporting 90 clients and employs a team of 70 careworkers and office staff.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team – those here in the office and our amazing care workers, without whom, the business simply wouldn’t exist,” said Managing Director, Dan Archer. “It’s through dedication and genuine kindness that we’re able to make a real difference in people’s lives every single day. For some that just means a bit of company and the reassurance of a familiar face, for others, it’s the difference between being able to stay at home instead of having to go into care, to wash and dress or get help with their independence out and about in the community. To think that we’re making 1000 hours’ worth of a difference every week is quite profound.

“This milestone also goes to show that our carer-centric approach - putting staff at the heart of the business - is the right thing to do. All of our evidence points to the fact that by having available staff when other companies in the area are struggling, we have been able to fulfil contracts and grow when others have not – it’s a victory for being carer-centric.”

Established in the US in 1998, Visiting Angels is one of America’s largest care franchises, with over 600 offices operating in five countries. Dan was the first to bring the brand to the UK and, upon launch in late 2017, Visiting Angels was the region’s first ‘carer-centric’ at-home care provider. Dan, 45, is from Sheffield himself. He made the decision to join the care industry after he witnessed, first-hand, how damaging an unreliable and poor-quality care service can be – not just for the recipient, but for family and friends too.

“When I was younger, my nan’s health meant that she needed support and it was heart-breaking to see the lack of quality care given from the home-care system. Within eight weeks, she had been dealt with by 12 different carers, none of whom were around long enough to learn anything about her, or us. Visits came at all different times of day and some were missed altogether. It really highlighted how unstable the relationships were and that no standards were being met at all.”

Dan saw the problem as pressure being piled on the carers, with little to no thanks or reward. He felt this constituted to a feeling of unappreciation and their somewhat inevitable resignation. Visiting Angels strive to put care workers at the core of the business by treating them fairly and with mutual respect, enabling them to deliver a truly caring service that is becoming so highly sought after. The business’ unique approach includes offering care workers a minimum £10ph wage with guaranteed annual increases, a generous mileage allowance, regular car servicing and valeting, a mobile phone and much more. Regular team meetings and social events help to ensure everyone feels valued. The core belief being that ‘a happy carer, is a good carer’.

“The national average of care workers leaving a business is 41%. Our results show that we are currently operating at a 13% carer turnover – less than half the national average. I am certain that this is down to our approach and having a team that feel valued and appreciated,” said Dan.

It’s been a nonstop whirlwind of celebrations for the business since day one. Within a year of launching, Dan and his team were awarded ‘Best International Office’ at Visiting Angels’ annual conference in Philadelphia, cited as the fastest growing office in the brand’s history. Here in the UK, alongside its impressive growth, Visiting Angels Sheffield has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Great British Care Awards for the last two years; in recognition for both its’ exceptional approach to its care workers and its management team.

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About Visiting Angels

In 2017, the Visiting Angels brand came to the UK under the expert leadership of Dan Archer. A franchise veteran and passionate ambassador for quality care at home, Dan launched the first UK office in October 2017. In less than 12 months, Visiting Angels Sheffield proved to be one of our most successful new franchises. Ever. Dan and his team were awarded ‘Best International Office’ at our 2018 Annual Conference in recognition of their exceptional performance and commitment to the Visiting Angels UK mission. Most care businesses, and in turn, most care franchises, will tell you that they put their clients first. And whilst we don’t disagree with the sentiment, we take a slightly different view on how to achieve it. We believe that to truly be successful in this pursuit, and to change the future of social care in the UK, we must actually put our carers at the heart of the business. For without them, there is no business. We describe this approach as "carer-centric".