Friends Helping at Home: Home Care in Devon
A little vision with a big heart.
Our story – Founder and CEO Andrew Richardson
I started Friends Helping at Home because I wanted to develop a company that could enable care to happen the way that I would want for myself or a loved one. I can recall my grandmother’s gradual decline and how that stressed my parents, long past retirement age themselves, having to arrange and fund care for my grandmother; and more recently, what I experienced when I acted for a high net worth individual with lasting powers of attorney, as tasked by a solicitor to look after their client. I discovered how difficult it was to arrange “good care”, irrespective of money or funding. What I found simply didn’t have a heart.
As the consumer, it’s easy to see the flaws in something, especially when you’re experiencing poor service. The care system appeared to me to be “tick-box” led, lest someone sue the provider for a mistake, yet the very purpose, the task involved of how that care was given – the client’s experience – didn’t seem to matter or feature in the process. I know that there are many who have left the care sector due to the pressures associated with being under-resourced or with insufficient time to provide the care needed.
Whilst there are many commentators and genuine people who are looking for solutions to the current care crisis, I started with the simple aim of creating a company that enabled the delivery of what people wanted within a good governance structure.
Care at Heart
I wanted to see a care service in Devon that was sustainable with everyone involved feeling valued. I wanted to attract the right people who see care as a vocation, and an important necessity in helping people to lead their final years with dignity and maybe a new zest for life!
To make the business entirely client-led, consumers would need:
- Choice and to know who’s coming through the door, and for those care professionals to know and have time for their clients.
- The care service had to offer excellent value for money, be flexible so that it could respond to the changing needs of the individual receiving the service.
Overall, it had to feel like a good experience in what is an intrusive but necessary service.
- I wanted clients to have the ability to add companionship and other social aspects of enabling them to remain living in the comfort of their own home.
- My red line no rushed visits, with both service-user and -giver having the time to establish a professional relationship.
All that sounds too good to be true? Well, we have a tried-and-tested way of working with excellent feedback. So if the client doesn’t get on with the service provider, there’s a no-fuss way of changing and finding the right person. Every client (family or representative) has a local single point of contact to discuss their requirements and can respond as circumstances change.
I wanted to attract the best, vocational people to provide the care and support services and I knew that that would be hard to find in a sector that undervalues its health care assistants on a minimal wage. If you need care and help at home in Devon, you needed a valued person. Someone who sees care differently. Someone who values and feels valued in providing care. Taking that we can tick all the boxes – DBS, references, experience, qualifications, training and ongoing support – I wanted to attract pleasant, friendly and professional people. The litmus test being that we only register those that I’d want looking after me or a loved one. So to be able to develop a sustainable business model, (no caregivers = no clients = no business) the caregivers would have to earn significantly more and be joining a network that valued its carers, something outside of the norm, where carers could develop their career in care and flourish themselves.
It would be a privilege to welcome you to the Friends family and for us to have a long and happy journey together with Care at Heart!
With best wishes,
Founder and CEO
Friends Helping at Home
Care at Heart
Our Brand Standard
Our brand standards are there to ensure that everyone receives the service that they deserve. We understand that inviting someone into your home is incredibly personal and can be very daunting so we have developed a tried and tested process so you can feel confident in your service and feel happy and comfortable in your own home.
- All our service providers are experienced professionals with a proven track record, full references, employment history and DBS as standard.
- Continuity of care with service providers you have chosen
- A single point of contact to make adjustments and give feedback
- Regular “customer service” check ups to ensure you are happy
- Full PPE and signed infection control documents
You will have already met with your Branch Manager to discuss your requirements. Here are the next steps in the process:
- Your Branch Manager will select service providers from our rigorously vetted team to suit your requirements.
- All our service providers are experienced professionals with a proven track record, full references, employment history and enhanced DBS as standard.
- You will be introduced to these carefully selected service providers in an initial free introductory meeting so you have the time to chat to them, find out about them and their experience.
- You can then choose the one(s) that are right for you.
- Your service provider will begin work
Finding SAFE, RELIABLE, at-home care in Devon just got easier
Trusted daily or overnight care in Devon
Available Staff This Month
Our client satisfaction rate
Our client satisfaction rate is excellent!
Read below what our clients have to say and learn more about what makes us the premier provider of in-home senior care in Devon.
We are responding to requests for help and assistance at this difficult time. Our branch managers are working from home and we will be pleased to discuss your requirements.
At last I was able to arrange the care and support that my mother wanted
Excellent, friendly professional service
No stress in arranging care for mother