Home Instead Cleveland have been awarded "Which Franchise of the Year 2023"
A Cleveland couple who turned their desire to help vulnerable people into a successful business have won a coveted industry award.
Gavin Morrigan and Michelle Fairless, the owners of Home Instead Cleveland, are the recipients of a Great British Franchisee Award, the most prestigious accolade in the highly competitive sector.
“They truly are a shining example of people who came to us with the right attitude and a desire to be the best at what they do,” says Imogen Clarke, the network’s Head of Franchise Development.
“Gavin and Michelle trusted in the business model and worked incredibly hard, and their journey has become a case study we use to inspire newer franchisees.”
Their company provides non-medical care and companionship to older people in their own homes – a dream shared by both Michelle and Gavin.
“When my parents became ill, I really began to understand the weight of the responsibility families have in caring for loved ones at home with a lack of suitable support,” says Michelle.
“That, coupled with Gavin’s desire to set up a business that would help the local community, especially often-forgotten older people, led us to Home Instead.
“It also meant we could play a part in tackling the high level of unemployment in the area, again, benefitting the local community. We now have over 140 employees!”
With backgrounds in human resources and financial services, the couple were well-equipped to manage and develop their business into the highly successful organisation it’s become.
“We’re on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year,” says Gavin. “Many clients have no family around them, or at all, and therefore their happiness and safety and enjoyment in life as well as health concerns can be all down to us and our ever-growing team of genuinely caring care professionals and fantastic office staff.
“Having people completely depend upon us is an incredible responsibility that many people outside the care sector don’t necessarily feel or need to understand.”
The industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission, rates the business as Outstanding, while it’s the top-rated home care company in Teesside, according to client review site homecare.co.uk.
“Despite our living in a less affluent area than a lot of the UK, last month we were the third highest performing Home Instead office in the country,” says Michelle.
“We’re very proud, too, that in our nine years of operation we have never had a formal complaint made to us. Our whole business is structured to tease out any issues before they become problems.”
The business helped pioneer a Protecting Seniors From Fraud initiative in which it held over 200 free presentations to explain in detail the scams and frauds targeting elderly and vulnerable people and giving the tools and techniques necessary to avoid them.
“We were awarded a Service to the Community business award in the Mayor’s Good Citizen Awards, and we were also recognised as the Most Community-Minded Business in the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland’s Community Safety Awards.”
When asked what the award meant to them, Gavin replied, “Michelle and I are incredibly honoured to have been recognised as a Great British Franchisee. Winning such a prestigious award is a huge testament to our Care Managers and the exceptional team of truly caring and dedicated office staff we employ who support our loyal and committed Care Professionals, day in, day out.
Together, we know we make an invaluable, often life changing difference to the lives of many, many people in the privacy of their own homes. To have our personal as well as company vision and values recognised with such a high profile, national recognition is humbling, and we’re delighted to accept this award on behalf of all our wonderful employees who give so much to their clients at every opportunity.”