Seniors Helping Seniors® employs active older people with time on their hands and matches them with less active older people who need help to stay safe and well in their own homes. Our elderly care services are tailored to each client (transportation, meal preparation, light housework, days out, stimulating activities and much more) Seniors Helping Seniors® is a trusted care brand with 20 years and over 300 franchisees worldwide. Winning awards for Customer Service, the unique style of care appeals to people needing support and to the people supporting them.
Seniors Helping Seniors® provides practical help, companionship and inspiration. The service is perfectly tailored for an ageing society. Carers with personal experience of ageing and caring appreciate the rewarding, well paid, flexible local work. There is no shortage of brilliant carers like Seniors Helping Seniors® carers, and as a Seniors Helping Seniors® franchisee, you will be working with loving, caring giving and compassionate people to facilitate award winning care in your own location. Employees are experts by experience or care professionals who have retired or moved from social, charity or other care jobs.
Seniors Helping Seniors® services are not CQC regulated. We are out of scope for the CQC because we do not offer medical services or personal care. We operate 20-year-old outstanding standards, synonymous with the Seniors Helping Seniors® brand and adapted to your own community.
Seniors Helping Seniors® is a Top Ten and a Top Twenty most recommended elderly care agency in UK and it has featured on the BBC for innovating the care sector. The NHS describes Seniors Helping Seniors® as “perfect primary care” because it keeps people well, short and long term.
The joint drivers are offering relevant, well paid and satisfying work that people want to do as they age and providing easy to accept, fully managed at home care services that families and older people love. Seniors Helping Seniors® is an influencer, changing views and offering new opportunities and choice for people as they age in UK.
We appreciate that due to COVID-19 you may be thinking that now is not a good time to consider a franchise with Driving Miss Daisy. However, it may be useful to know that there is a selection and start up process and this needs to be factored into your planning.
This will result in an start date which is unlikely to be before August 2020, and this will hopefully see us past the current state of play with regards to the COVID-19 measures being put in place. Our current network is extremely busy supporting clients through this very difficult time and we have been informed by Private Hire Licensing authorities that no new private hire licenses will be issued until further notice.
Looking forward to the next few months, please understand that Driving Miss Daisy, due to its position in the market, will play a crucial role in providing support services to the most vulnerable in society.
Services that we offer within the latest Government guidelines:
We look forward to hearing from you and share more information on this unique business opportunity “
Seniors Helping Seniors® is an international organisation with a successful franchising history spanning 20 years. The UK operation is award winning and small, so you’d be joining a passionate team. We are ambitious for success in your own area but we are not hungry for our own profit, so you’ll enjoy our support and our terms. We are currently looking for franchisees in East and South East England (excl. London). Our aim is to build a nationwide network over the next 10 years.
We welcome enquiries from people who want to use their skills to make an important contribution.
Improving the lives of others is the core of everything we do. This is not business as usual, this is business how it should be, and we’d love to hear from you
You can expect to be up and running within 3 months. Most of the training is upfront. Training encapsulates 20 years of success in 5 days:- Two days initial training, followed by a period of local work which you do at your own pace, and a further 3 days of in-person franchisee training. Training is run by the franchisor who has personally managed a Seniors Helping Seniors® operation and has a record of rolling out repeatable business operations. You will receive a manual, marketing materials, 24/7 support plus monthly follow ups to guide you with shared experiences. National partnerships benefit every franchisee’s local operation.
Training is in a relaxed professional environment and every step of the operation is taught, so no specific business skill or care skills are required but people skills are a must.
We carefully select potential franchisees to ensure the right mind-set and heart.
This is a home-based business and it is a people business. You will need to meet potential clients and carers as well as all the charities, companies, surgeries and locals who will refer business to you and sign post services. Care of the elderly is a partnership with family, medical and local services, so communication is 80% of your day. The proprietary admin system maintains care plans, employee details, handles invoicing and salaries.
Franchisees have chosen to replace themselves as their businesses grow, so franchisees develop their own roles over time.
The service helps solve the care crisis as well as offering much needed rewarding work to older workers, so this is a legacy you will be proud of.
What did you do before you bought a franchise business?
Christian: “I worked for charities, Premier League and sport rights, film and broadcast, technology and software. I moved from Norway to England in 1990 when I met Sally”
Sally was born in Kent and took her degree in comparative healthcare systems. Her career in publishing started on Senior Nurse magazine and ended in media analysis for companies. Sally and Christian have built new businesses and taught business concepts around the world, living in London, Oslo, and Canterbury. Christian and Sally have four children and recently became proud grandparents.
Purpose Christian explains “I have always loved my work. I’ve had fancy titles and good salaries but I have always craved what I’d call a real purpose. I’ve always wanted to do something that truly mattered to people. Seniors Helping Seniors came at the right time for me” Sally found out about the great work Seniors Helping Seniors does in America.
Sally Comments: “I saw an advertisement in an in-flight magazine. It was a very humble advertisement. I realised Seniors Helping Seniors tackles two of the biggest social problems of an ageing society. Elderly care and employment opportunities for people as they age. I couldn’t get the simple logic of it out of my mind.”
What sold you on franchising? Why didn't you start your own business or stay employed ?
Christian Comments “Sally and I have always disrupted industries. Disrupting is more than improving products or services. Disrupting means having a completely different approach. Being made redundant in our early 50’s was a blessing. We took the time to evaluate properly.
About staying employed, I think we’d done making money for other people! And the constant uncertainty of it was unpleasant. We knew what it takes to start new businesses. Starting something un-tested is high risk. Franchising allows you to leapfrog all the testing.”
Why the Seniors Helping Seniors franchise?
Sally Comments: “Once I found Seniors Helping Seniors in-home care service, it kept coming back to us. Nothing else was as important and disruptive. Seniors Helping Seniors is independently owned. No Venture Capital.
Seniors Helping Seniors was the win win. Offering people flexible local work that they are uniquely qualified to do as they age, is the reason people can receive the elderly care and support they need. Everybody benefits in different ways.
It is not traditional ‘care’ because we do not provide personal care or medical services.. It is the work people want to do and the care people agree to most easily. Our focus is encouragement and support as opposed to ‘doing things for people’ Only Seniors Helping Seniors has this approach.
Christian went to meet the founders in America and he was astounded by the passion and innovation. The chemistry was there from the outset”
Christian comments: “I visited the founders and met some of the 250 partners in America in 2013”
Christian Comments, “The UK desperately needs services like these. We bought a master franchise license in early 2013 and set about repeating the success in the UK.
The straight forward, honourable and joyful approach to ageing is so refreshing. Everybody feels it, and the social impact is powerful.”
Opening our first office
Christian says “The first Seniors Helping Seniors in the UK started in East Kent and everything about it has been amazing. The services make people happy, the social impact is outstanding and the ROI is 20% +
The offices that followed East Kent, grow faster and forecast bigger. Our master franchise license means we re-invest in the franchising side of the operation. We are well on track and opening our fifth office. Building on the success of our first office is everything I could have hoped for.”
How did you start your Care franchise? Did you need care experience? Did you take outside investment?
After training in America, taking UK courses and consulting stakeholders in the sector locally and nationally, Christian launched Seniors Helping Seniors for Canterbury and Thanet in late 2013.
He found his core group of carers and the first clients easily. Christian explains “It's a business you can run from home so the set-up, initial investment and running costs are low. The master franchise was a big investment. We took advantage of loans and grants available to businesses with a high social impact, and award wins that were available to us because of the innovation in the services.
It’s a management franchise, so technically I didn't need to do care courses but I wanted to educate myself so I could be hands on when needed and support ‘the best of the best. I’ve met exceptionally skilled people doing great work.” Simple ideas work best Christian adds: “Like all the best ideas, this is a simple idea. We mobilise people with some time on their hands, to help people who need support.
20 years of success
We knew we were providing outstanding elderly care from day one. We had 20 years’ success in the US as our guide. Christian says, “Seniors Helping Seniors UK was firmly established after three years. Since then it’s been about repetition. Every person is different and every family and community teaches us something new but the processes are rock solid” Sally says “Seniors Helping Seniors has been a life changing experience for us. It’s the most important work we have ever done. I can feel that we are driving new standards in elderly care and local employment for people. The people we have met campaigning for better care are outstanding and I love to be part of very positive changes.”
Awards, Accolades, Anniversaries
Sally adds: “We are coming up to our sixth anniversary with several key awards under our belts.
Our local Care Commissioning Group (CCG) refers to us as “perfect primary care” and referrals come from customers, carers, care co-ordinators and charities. We are signposted throughout the community and we do some ground-breaking work with our clients that not only makes a tremendous difference to their lives, it also gets us press.
Canterbury-based care-at-home service Seniors Helping Seniors® expanded into the London Borough of Harrow and Northwood in London on its third birthday.
The owner of the new Harrow office, George Demetriou, is a keen Rotarian in his early 70s who has over three decades of experience building self-owned businesses. George was drawn to Seniors Helping Seniors through a desire to finish his career “doing something really worthwhile, making a genuine and positive difference to people’s lives.” He says: “The concept is simple and, to me, compelling. Matching fit and able seniors with time on their hands and experienced carers who want to work flexibly, with seniors needing help to enable them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible was, I thought, a brilliant idea and a thoroughly rewarding venture to be involved with.”
George’s experiences since launch have given him great cause for optimism about the business’s prospects: “I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t thought that the concept of Seniors Helping Seniors is a great idea and something that is much needed in today’s society. I have been delighted at the interest shown by everyone who has heard about it and the support, both moral and practical, I have received from many. I am therefore absolutely confident that the Seniors Helping Seniors franchise has the potential to thrive throughout the UK.”
George affirms that the passion of Seniors Helping Seniors UK owners Christian and Sally Wilse for the business’s offering was a determining factor in his decision to launch the new franchise. “I wasn’t actively looking for another business opportunity, but an advert looking for ‘good-hearted entrepreneurs’ caught my eye, and I subsequently met with Christian and Sally. I was struck by their total belief in, and commitment to, the Seniors Helping Seniors ideal and by the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment they had already achieved through the business. My decision to become a franchisee was directly as a result of my meetings with them.”
George praises the support he has received from the Wilses, which includes two 3-day training sessions at which he had the opportunity to meet with carers and understand the practicalities of running the business; the provision of print and online support materials; templates for the Harrow franchise’s own website and marketing materials; and guidance on social media.
Seniors Helping Seniors has earned positive media and stakeholder attention since its UK launch in 2013. It is a transferrable operation that has been singled out for recognition by leading figures such as Sir Muir Gray, the former NHS Chief of Knowledge; it earned an award for focus on individual requirements and flexibility in the sector; and, most recently, was the focus of a BBC special news report on alternative care provision in light of concerns from the CQC about increasing care home closures.
Local content and the business’s personal approach is very important. “In this area in particular, Christian and Sally have been very open to collaboration, and we’re really enjoying the two-way nature of the relationship,” George continues. “It’s great that the they are receptive to, and encouraging of, our ideas.”
Working with the Wilses has, George says, been a really enjoyable experience: “Christian and I have a similar outlook on life and share a sense of humour. We are both totally committed to the cause, but it has also been really fun working with him and Sally.”
Christian adds: “In George we have found a kindred spirit, and we look forward to ensuring success in the Harrow community and beyond as more franchisees join us.”
Experienced franchisee Andy Boothman knew he’d found the right outlet for his logistical mind when his wife Eva showed him the Seniors Helping Seniors® franchise opportunity in October 2017
Andy launched his own logistics company in 1992 when Eva worked in the Spanish embassy in London. They’ve run businesses together along with their 'accidental landlord’ duties and taking care of their four daughters. They bought and ran a cleaning franchise in Woking for five years in the nineties, exiting at a tidy profit after it was established.
Andy and Eva are passionate about living life to the full. They have lived in Surrey, Strasbourg and Spain. Andy was born and raised in Woking and having returned to Surrey they are focussing on creating a powerful choice for people who want to live well and independently in their own homes.
Andy says, “We wanted a new project to develop together and we decided Seniors Helping Seniors® had the right mix of social enterprise for us. It deals with two critical community issues, elderly care and employment and it uses our expertise and our passions. We are excited to be helping our community.” The couple seized the opportunity to open Seniors Helping Seniors® in Guildford, Woking and Godalming and they asked to fast track their training to be ready to fulfil the post-Christmas enquiries.
Andy and Eva know exactly how it feels to notice declines in parents who live far away and the idea of matching people with time on their hands, with people who need a little support, seemed like a very sensible thing to do.
Andy says “Because I have lived a long way from both my parents, I know how important it is to have reliable support. Seniors Helping Seniors® offers something a little different from the other care operators. I’d want it for my Mum and Dad because neither of them would accept typical carers.”
The first Woking customers and carers are already referring friends to the service and the doors to Seniors Helping Seniors® Guildford Woking and Godalming opened mid-February 2018.
Christian said “From our experience of rolling out repeatable business concepts in the corporate world, we know that a good team is make or break. In my experience, franchising is just the same. My wife and business partner Sally and I know when we meet the right people but the most exciting part of the franchise recruitment journey for us, is when the penny drops.
Doing the right thing, as opposed to being driven by maximum profit, tends to turn things upside down for people. We know that in George and his family in Harrow and now Andy and Eva in Surrey, we have kindred spirits who will stop at nothing to help people live their lives to the full.”