Home Instead is looking for Prince Charles’ Missing Millions

Pet Fowler-Watts, MBE, and Community Liaison for Home Instead
Pet Fowler-Watts, MBE, and Community Liaison for Home Instead

Prince Charles has launched a new report which reveals that over a million people aged over 50 are out of work.  The research by the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) says that as many as 1.5 million people aged over 50 have left work involuntarily for a variety of reasons over the last eight years. PRIME says that 1.1 million of these people still want to work.

Home Instead, an at-home care company in Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk, reports that over 30% of their workforce is over 50, and they are actively looking for Prince Charles’ Missing Millions. Pet Fowler-Watts is a great example of a retired person still willing and able to work. Pet started her career with Home Instead at the age of 65 years as a CAREGiver for the company, where she visited her elderly clients regularly and helped them with their shopping, cooking, and other daily routines, assisting them to remain living independently in their own homes. She also provided them with the companionship that elderly people so often need.

Prior to joining Home Instead, Pet received an MBE for her work as the matron at the Royal British Legion’s Lister House Care Home in Ripon where Pet was responsible for coordinating a £7 million refurbishment project. When she left Lister House in 2009, Pet worked as an NVQ trainer and assessor in health and social care, however she missed the contact with the residents and the care aspect.

She came to join Home Instead after seeing an advert and liked the companionship element to their service, taking people out and spending quality time with older people.  Her first visit as a CAREGiver was to take her client to his daughter's wedding at Swinton Park hotel.  Pet loves meeting people and found CAREGiving very rewarding. Pet, who is now 70, is now part of the Home Instead management team, responsible for networking, building relationships in the community and quality assurance.  

Working for Home Instead fits in well with her current lifestyle. Pet enjoys the flexibility plus she still meets the clients she used to care for through the quality assurance visits.

Pet comments, “If you are over 50 and looking for employment- if you have a genuine interest in people, have strong empathy and good communication skills then caring is a very rewarding role which can fit in with your lifestyle.  As we get older we have the benefit of life experience, confidence, listening skills and a genuinely natural caring nature. The over 50's can make a real difference.”

Sheena Van Parys, owner of Home Instead, also commented. She said, “We have long believed that the over 50s offer a largely untapped and highly effective care resource so I was interested to read about the huge numbers that are out of work.

“We match our CAREGivers to clients and many of our clients often like to be cared for by someone closer to their own age plus they have the life skills to understand the issues faced by those in need of care. It’s why we already employ many people who are over 50. Pet has become a fantastic advocate for Home Instead, encouraging others who may be apprehensive to ‘give it a go!’”

“Much of the work in the sector is part-time so is ideal for anyone looking to do a few hours to a few days’ work each week.”

For more information on working with Home Instead, contact the Harrogate office on 01423 774490, Ripon on 01765 530400 or Thirsk on 01845 440510 or visit https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/harrogate.