With four years under our belts and a thriving enterprise that thrills us every day, it is humbling to be shortlisted People’s Champion for the 14th Startups Award.

I was made redundant shortly after my 50th birthday (there’s plenty to reveal about all of that which I’m saving for another day!)  Redundancy and midlife adjustments were, thankfully, in my case, accompanied by good health, a great relationship and optimism, so my husband and I pooled our professional skills and we set ourselves the challenge of bringing about the change we wanted to see in society and in the workplace.

People often tell me how brave we are. We sold our house to fund a social venture.  We did it with the full support of our wonderful children and thorough due diligence.  Fortunately the bravery is paying off and the due diligence  is coming to fruition.

We became one of the 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the UK.   Seniors Helping Seniors® is among the businesses that are integral to the health and growth of the economy.  SMEs create jobs. SMEs create solutions.

Our personal mission was to create work for a uniquely skilled workforce that was being overlooked.  We empower that workforce to profoundly shift the future of ageing.

We have built opportunities for people who feel undervalued, even though they have given everything to their careers.  We create opportunities for people, who, having cared for others, find themselves lonely and with time on their hands.  We offer opportunities to entrepreneurs who have the ambition to create their legacy. And we offer the help people need to remain independent and active through to the very end of their lives.

We have been honoured with awards.   One of our favourites was being The top ten most recommended elderly care services in the UK another was being short  listed for dementia carer of the year and getting runner up for the personalisation award. The BBC produced a news segment on us and ITN has interviewed key people on our team for insight into why people work past retirement.  Now we are shortlisted for the franchisee of the year 2017, and we have been shortlisted for the People’s Choice award.

#National Startups Day (Friday 13th October 2017) champions the start-ups and small businesses who are making a difference.  The Start Up Loans Company offers government-backed personal loans for business purposes and they have helped over 50,000 businesses in the UK

We congratulate everyone on our shortlist and wish us all continued success.

As ethical low-investment franchisors, Seniors Helping Seniors® will always recommend the #Startups path to anyone interested in taking Seniors Helping Seniors® into their own community. We are a strong franchisor with a strong brand and a great track record.  People joining us rely on the experience of 300 + other Seniors Helping Seniors franchisees.  For others who go it alone in other fields,  Startups have a great mentor programme to offer.

For us, our biggest and heartfelt thanks go to our carers.  Ordinary people with extraordinary hearts who work for our clients, bringing the very best of themselves to every moment of service.

We would not have done this without a vision of you and we could not do it without you.

Startups have made #NationalStartUpsDay  an opportunity to help a start-up or a small business;  they suggest buying from an independent retail business, interacting with a start-up on social media, offering a piece of advice, or connecting a start-up to an individual or organisation you think may be of assistance.

I’m sure this is something the Great British Public will get behind.

In addition, can we put in a cheeky request for your vote?