Recruiting: homecare jobs at South Yorkshire firm Visiting Angels

When you’re looking for someone to help and care for an older relative you’d want them to have time to talk, to cook fresh food, to really care and to get to know the person they were helping.

Promoted by Visiting Angels
Monday, 1st November 2021, 8:10 pm
'We pay more than minimum wage and there are no zero hours contracts' says home care provider Dan Archer

South Yorkshire man Dan Archer felt the care his Nan received fell so far short of what he and the family wanted that he set up his own home care franchise – putting staff at the heart of what they provide.

Visiting Angels started in Sheffield in 2017 and now operates in 22 locations across the country. He says its success is based on recruiting the right staff and offering higher than average rates of pay, better conditions and perks and retaining staff – in turn that means quality care for clients.

“I started the business because of Nan,” said Dan. His grandma, Mrs Angela Bott, had arthritis and needed some help around the home, but the family found different carers coming at irregular times and always seeming pressed for time, was far from ideal.

Do you care about caring for others? There’s a package of pay and benefits, and minimum one-hour visits with clients

Time to care

“I felt the problems we were facing were coming from having high staff turnover, the times they were going to her was a time that suited them and not a time that suited my Nan,” he said. Another issue was the lack of time staff had to give quality care – it all seemed rushed and his Nan never got to know her carers.

“But she was a different generation. I used to say to people when you’ve walked down Abbeydale Road with bombs dropping around you, problems with home care were a minor inconvenience,” said Dan.

But after Mrs Bott had a fall, and ended up in hospital, passing away some weeks later, he started thinking there should be a better way to run a home care business.

Become a home care hero and be rewarded with a benefits package

“I thought, what if someone made the carers the most important people in the business?” he said. It was then that he discovered Visiting Angels and set up a franchise in Sheffield.

Visiting Angels has been providing care across the world for 20 years. Its ethos is to recruit, train and supporting the very best caregivers and enabling them to deliver premium quality homecare.

“We do not pay minimum wage – it’s £12 an hour and a guaranteed five per cent pay rise annually. We pay our staff whilst they are driving between clients and we pay mileage, and there are no zero hours contracts,” says Dan.

Birthday holiday

Staff are given their birthdays off, all training is classroom based and paid, staff cars are valeted and serviced and staff are encouraged and helped to develop professionally.

In an industry with an average staff turnover of 50 per cent, Dan says his Visiting Angels has just a ten per cent turnover.

And the quality of care goes from the staff to the clients too. No visit is less than one hour long. Staff are encouraged to have time to talk, to cook a meal from scratch, and to have the same clients to visit regularly – so that the person who needs help around the home knows who is coming and builds a relationship with them. Although full PPE is provided, Visiting Angels do not wear a uniform, which Dan explains, gives the clients more dignity.

“I think it’s a really simple thing,” says Dan. “In our business the client knows their carer by name and face. People do not necessarily want to see themselves as needing help and our carers are in plain clothes so if they go out shopping with someone, it’s not obvious they are out with a carer.”

And they do not differentiate between personal care and companionship – Visiting Angels staff do anything that needs doing.

“They are companions, they are company as well as being able to help with cleaning, washing and dressing.”

Visiting Angels also look after staff with things like family days, where their families are invited to join in.

“When a carer is working for me they are not with their families, we recognise that and want to say thank you and give some time back,” Dan explains.

Recruiting now

Visiting Angels is now recruiting more carers in the Sheffield area to cover Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Dan said it could be people looking to be trained and gain NVQs, existing carers looking for a change, or former carers thinking about a return to the profession.

“I’m far more interested in someone with the ability to converse, who is chatty and outgoing and can think on their feet,” said Dan.

For further information on jobs with Visiting Angels visit their website at www.visiting-angels.co.uk or contact 01144 333000 to find out more.