This month my Guest Blog is by Debbie Mansfield, of Treasured Time, who after a successful career at senior level , made a proactive choice to find a career choice that suited her , offered a lifestyle change & allowed her to pursue her dream of setting up her own business. She offers much needed support & companionship services in South Yorkshire, to help older people maintain their independence & to help their relatives enjoy being sons or daughters not just ‘carers’. ” I wanted to be able to provide people with a better quality of life by being a friendly face and providing genuine support, giving much needed respite from feelings of loneliness and isolation “. Debbie is an inspiration for those changing career at 50 plus.
Debbie says “I had worked in a Fertility Clinic in a successful position for 15 years when I made the decision to change the course of my career. A brave move some would say and others would say ‘madness’.
What made me decide to change career?
What led me to make such a decision was two-fold. The first was recovering from back surgery that left me in a lot of pain for over 3 years. I had a highly responsible job and coping with the demands of this, coupled with the aftermath of surgery was extremely challenging, and exhausting. Although I did my level best to meet all my commitments, it left me with little energy for life outside of work. Also being tied to my desk in a static position was doing me no favours, and I knew I needed a lifestyle change.
I took a 3 month break during the first year following surgery and this gave me time to consider if there was a different option to the pathway I was on. I started to do some voluntary work in the community befriending the elderly. I had worked as a nurse in my earlier career mainly in the elderly sector and I felt like a light had switched on somewhere. It was the beginning of my idea to set up a companionship business. I knew working with the elderly was what I wanted to be involved in. It took me another 18 months of trying to commit to my current job before I realised that I had to make the change happen.
I gave 6 months’ notice at the beginning of January 2017 – part to help the clinic work towards an inspection at the end of June, and part to give me time to get organized and not have to rush into developing my ideas.
How did I go about it ?
I made a list of everything I needed to research or do, and slowly began to tick things off. These included:
- Writing up a business plan
- Working out the hours and amount of income I would receive
- Working out costs for business and personal needs
- Setting out the service/s I would offer including terms and conditions
- Building a website and maintaining it
- Designing a flyer/and adverts
- Drafting client information, contracts and enquiry information
- Obtaining insurance and doing a DBS check
- Advertising in local magazines and doing leaflet drops in select areas
- Setting up a Facebook page
- Sourcing an accountant
- Making a list of networking opportunities and then following them
- Setting up an email address for the business
- Finally after beginning the business – registering with the HMRC
The business: Treasured Time
I founded Treasured Time at the beginning of May 2017, because I understood the need in our communities to offer a companionship service to those who find themselves living alone without the support of a family and friends network. I wanted to be able to provide people with a better quality of life by being a friendly face and providing genuine support, giving much needed respite from feelings of loneliness and isolation.
My aim is to offer;
- Companionship to individuals that live alone, helping them to find time for enjoyment and to enhance their daily living.
- To work with people who need a little extra support to maintain their independence at home – even if this is on a short-term basis such as recovering from illness or hospitalization until you are back on your feet.
- Support and help in managing some of the day-to-day issues that arise running a home, which need sorting out – paying bills, sorting out repairs and maintenance etc
- To offer support to relatives who have a busy working life, so that they know someone is there for their loved one when they can’t be due to work or holiday commitments.
Therefore, I offer a range of services to support people in their own environment, from spending quality time with them on a one to one basis, assisting with light household duties, shopping and accompanying them to an appointment.
I am happy to say things are moving forward and I do have some clients that I help, but it has taken longer than I first expected to get going. After networking and talking to people, I now feel on the brink of making things happen. Fingers crossed all goes well.”
If you or a relative would like to talk about her service or book one of Debbies free half hour visits please call her on 07890 134656 . Her website details are below, with testimonials.
Website – www.treasuredtime.co.uk
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org