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Month 1: Change For The Better

Month 1: Change For The Better

Guardian Angel Carers new franchisees Tim Corry and Alex Duncan have a strong bond and shared belief in service. Both were Officers and Pilots in the Royal Air Force (12 and 17 years respectively) based at Odiham and serving on several overseas tours. They then took a career path as commercial pilots, but the 2020 pandemic made them think again. 

Each month we will be following their story during their first year as they set up their Farnham territory and share their reflections on what its like to own a franchise and be part of our franchise family.

2020 has brought about big changes for us. Two former RAF pilots, and friends, who’ve regularly travelled a shared path, we’ve together decided to do something that, just a year ago, we could never have imaged to buy a franchise in starting a Home Care company.

Happily, we’re doing that as part of the Guardian Angel Carers franchise family. It’s a pretty big shift on the surface. Still, we believe we have a wealth of transferrable skills and the excellent guidance and mentoring of our Franchisor, and founder (double Olympian) Christina Handasyde Dick plus her fantastic team. 

Over the 12 months, we’re going to chronicle our journey here. The ups and downs (excuse the pun) the trials and tribulations of starting a new business during a particularly extraordinary time. 

Although we must admit to feeling a great deal of apprehension, we’re equally buoyed by the fact that so many service leavers go on to run successful businesses. As we follow in their footsteps, we know that our tenacity will keep us going despite any challenges. We hope that ours will be a good news story! 

So how did we get here? In short – the pandemic. Like many, we’ve seen our seemingly secure jobs evaporate or found ourselves furloughed in an enduring state of apprehension for what is to come. 

During the first lockdown, the airline industry ground to a halt for us both. Not ones to sit still, we launched ourselves into volunteering to help our neighbours and community. It re-ignited a deep sense of purpose and value in us from helping others. Using the time to reflect, we realised that ‘service’ was in our DNA. It was our motivation. 

With our jobs as commercial airline pilots in question – me on furlough and Alex facing redundancy – we started to look at what else was out there. On leaving the RAF, we had only really considered flying, in the belief that’s where our skills lay. However, an officer’s role in the RAF is incredibly varied. We’d learnt skills and gained experiences that we’d taken for granted, and missed. 

Motivated, we started to look around for something that would use those skills and offer us that sense of purpose. When we found the world of Home Care, we realised we could combine the best of all our skills. 

Lockdown was shining a bright light on this sector. One that typically did not get the appreciation it deserved. Now, its people were on the front line of our Nation’s fight against the virus. It resonated with us both. 

As we looked into the industry more deeply, we discovered more and more about it to inspire: the incredible work being done to treat dementia, the advances in enabling technology and preventative approaches to medicine and care. We wanted to be part of that.

This first month, we’ve signed up to become proud owners of our Guardian Angel Carers Home Care business. We’ll be welcoming clients from Farnham, Fleet, Farnborough and Aldershot – plus all the villages in-between. 

So far, we’ve been able to use all our skills on a bigger scale. It’s been busy. We’ve created a business plan, secured finance, found new premises in Crondall for our clients and customers to visit, plus done our initial care training.  

It’s given us an even greater respect for those working in this industry, and as we two friends roll up our sleeves to take this path, we are honoured to be part of this industry, do something positive, and serve our community once more. 

Guardian Angel Carers

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