Visiting Angels signs first two UK franchisees

Having launched in the UK less than 10 months ago, Visiting Angels, one of America’s largest care franchises, are celebrating the launch of their first two UK franchisees. Gareth Redmayne and Dunni Awoyemi are both passionate about supporting their local communities and are determined to fulfil the brand’s mission – to become the UK care sector’s ‘employer of choice’ – in their respective areas of Hatfield and Windsor.

The company, that commits to being ‘carer-centric’, was established in 1998 in the US and has since grown to have over 600 franchisees operating in five countries. Within a year of launching, the UK’s pilot office in Sheffield was awarded ‘Best International Franchise’ at the brand’s annual conference. The new members of the Visiting Angels family plan to live up to that reputation! Officially the first Visiting Angels franchisee in the UK, Gareth launches his Hertfordshire-based business in September. He says he was drawn to the franchise by its mission and values as well as the opportunity to make a real difference to people in his community.

“I was impressed with the vision that Visiting Angels had for the UK. The whole concept of being ‘carer-centric’ completely aligned with my values and I knew it was something that I had to be a part of. The size of territory that I was able to work within were much bigger than other care brands – meaning I could make an impact on more people. Setting up a home care business is hard work but it’s a fantastic commercial opportunity which is matched by delivering a social benefit. I think I am most looking forward to having a great team in place delivering care that will have a positive impact on the local community.”

Gareth describes himself as an experienced healthcare manager but, just like all new Visiting Angels franchisees, flew to head office in Philadelphia for part one of his initial training. Gareth, Dunni and their fellow new recruits from across the pond met with the international franchise support team for four days of classroom-style training.

“My time in the US allowed me to meet some of the best and brightest in the homecare business, and also network with my fellow franchisees. Part two of training, at the UK head office, provided me with more in-depth grounding of what I needed to do to get my business up and running properly. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and it will be great to start putting it all into practise and making a difference.”

Gareth and Dunni will be championing Visiting Angels’ carer-centric approach, which puts the carer at the heart of everything they do. In real terms, this means treating carers with the upmost respect, valuing them for their commitment and rewarding them well for the support that they provide to clients. By doing so, they will be happier in their job, enjoy what they do and, as a result, provide a better quality of care to their clients. This is something that UK Managing Director, Dan Archer, feels passionately about.

“I don’t know who was more thrilled to welcome Gareth and Dunni to the franchise family; myself, the team in the US or the hundreds of franchisees stateside – they’re thrilled to have some British counterparts now. It’s so important for us to award franchises to people who, like Gareth and Dunni, really share in our commitment and ambition to do things differently. We’re hoping that the rest of the care sector will get behind our carer-centric approach – in fact, some of them are already doing so, which is great to see.”

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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".