November 28, 2019
Visiting Angels, one of America’s largest care franchises, are flying high as they welcome three new franchisees to the UK franchise family. Having recently celebrated a year since launching on British soil, the brand has yet more cause for celebration as it prepares to end the year by doubling its young network. Three new franchisees, Hammad Cheema, Grace Peters and Mayan Shah, are determined to support their local communities’ care needs and fulfil Visiting Angel’s brand mission to become the UK care sector’s employer of choice.
The introduction of the newest recruits rounds up an amazing first year for the brand. Since their launch in October 2018, the pilot franchise in Sheffield has won ‘Best International Franchise’ and been nominated for three Great British Care Awards – success that the latest additions to the Visiting Angels network are keen to replicate. Hammad Cheema, who will be launching his franchise in West London, is all too familiar with the problems often associated with finding and retaining great staff. When searching for his next opportunity, he says Visiting Angels stood out for its carer-centric approach.
“My wife and I already have a children’s care franchise and we were initially overwhelmed with carer applicants. The market has since shifted and good candidates are hard to come by so, [when looking for a new opportunity,] it was important to find something with a focus on attracting and retaining the best people. Visiting Angels provides the perfect fit. Our pay rates are higher than others locally and we offer other benefits such as paid mileage, a company mobile phone and guaranteed pay increases each year. Carers that are appreciated deliver better care and I wouldn’t sleep peacefully knowing we were not delivering the best care we possibly could.”
Hammad and his fellow franchisees will be championing Visiting Angels’ carer-centric approach, which means putting the carer at the heart of the business. The brand’s ethos is built around the belief that by doing so, carers will be happier in their work, feel valued, appreciated and, as a result, provide a better quality of care to their clients. Cultivating these values, and more, are all included as part of the initial training.
All new franchisees must embark on their journey across the Atlantic to Visiting Angels HQ in Philadelphia for a five-day training course followed by a week at head office in the UK. A comprehensive training and initial support programme covers all aspects of running a successful care business. From sales and marketing techniques to staff recruitment and retention, regulatory requirements and care coordination. Mayan Shah, new franchisee for North West London, already has grand plans of his own.
“The training went very well – it provided us with an in-depth look into the franchise and gave me many ideas for the future. I’ve made the personal pledge to raise my carers up to the London living wage once they’ve successfully completed three months with Visiting Angels. Our carer-centric approach is extremely important to me. I want to alleviate employee stress as much as I can, so they can concentrate on delivering high-quality care to our clients.”
Visiting Angels was established in the US in 1998 and has since grown to over 600 franchisees operating in five countries with Hammad, Grace and Mayan proving instrumental to the company’s success in the UK. They form the group of founding franchisees who are the pioneers and ambassadors for the brand. Dan Archer, UK Managing Director, is thrilled to see the network start to take shape.
“It’s crucial that we award franchises to people who, like Hammad, Grace and Mayan, truly share in our vision and passion to do things differently. We’re really beginning to pave the way and encourage the rest of the sector to get behind our carer-centric approach. We’ve already noticed a shift in attitudes towards the Visiting Angels’ way.”