Mark Darnell

Ray (seated), Mark and GailMark Darnell, who co-owns the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in East Northants, has shown both Ray Warburton and Gail Devereux-Batchelor “the way to care” by introducing them to a Home Instead Senior Care franchise.

Having known Gail in his previous career with Dr. Martens Footwear Group, and having signed footballer Ray Warburton for Rushden & Diamonds, Mark is thrilled that both of his friends now own neighbouring franchise territories of the at-home care company.

Having worked as a main board director at Dr. Martens for several years, Mark effectively hired Gail Devereux-Batchelor as the director of the ladies shoes division of the company. Mark takes up the story: “I had a great working relationship with Gail, and as we had children of a similar age we soon grew to be good friends. When I started Home Instead in East Northants, I had kept in contact with Gail and naturally told her all about my new business endeavour and the high-quality care I was proud to be able to deliver. Gail was very keen on hearing more about Home Instead, and I found out why, when she opened the Market Harborough office of the company!”

Dr. Martens sponsored Rushden and Diamonds and Mark eventually made the transition to become MD of the Club. Mark played a pivotal role negotiating with both club and player when the decision was taken to sign local football star Ray Warburton from Northampton Town. Although the pair had not kept in particularly close contact since leaving the club, when Ray was deciding upon his next business move and learnt that Mark owned a local at-home care company, he was quick to call him up and find out more as he had previously researched the business prior to Mark’s involvement. 

Mark says: “Ray and I had a great chat and I obviously told him how rewarding I find it, being able to provide such a high quality of at-home care for older people and run a lucrative business. Ray, like Gail, was keen to learn more and I hope that knowing someone who had been there before did help him to make the decision to start building the Northampton office of Home Instead.”

Mark continues: “I am thrilled to think that I have played a part in two of my friends discovering and launching their own local offices of Home Instead. The ethos of the company is all about changing the face of aging and making a real difference to the lives of older people, and if I can help to spread this high-quality service then I feel that that is a job well done!

“The three of us meet up fairly regularly at local owners meetings and it is great to be able to work with them both again. It is great to have friends in a similar situation too as we can also compare notes on what is going on in our own local area and obviously help each other out along the way.”


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