My name is Suzanne and I am 33yrs old. I am a single mother of 2 children
under the age of 8 and the Director of Apollo Care South Wirral which opened
in September 2013. I have over 10years experience in the care industry
gained from many years of caring in the community and nurse training,
specialising in the care of adults with physical and learning disabilities.
I am passionate about providing our service users with a high standard of
care, advocacy and companionship

My story began 3 and a half years ago when my relationship came to a sudden
end and I found myself on my own, with 2 children under the age of 4 and a
mortgage to repay. I was trying to find work that would fit around the
children and give me enough income to afford to stay in my house.

My friend Cheryl had invited me out for a play day with our boys, we were
chatting generally when the subject of my relationship came up, I was upset
and said I was unsure what sort of job I could find. Cheryl immediately said
that I should come and work for her as a carer for her community caring
business. I already had experience in this role, and I was made up and began
working within a few weeks of the meeting.

As the months went on and I began to really love my role, Cheryl began to
disclose her business ideas and plans. A few more months went by and Cheryl
informed me that she was in the process of franchising her business and that
she thought I would be an ideal candidate to buy my local area. At first I
laughed and said that in my current situation there no way that I could even
dream of doing such a thing, but the more I began to think things over the
more I longed to actually give it a go. I knew that I was experienced enough
to take on the role, but there were so many hurdles that would make it very
difficult.

I am fortunate to have a very supportive family especially my Mum who has
been amazing with the children. I talked things through with her and we
managed to raise the cash to fund the start-up cost. Once I had sorted that
I had to think very hard about how I was going to manage this around the
children.

The more I worked for Apollo Care the more I understood the values and the
objectives that they were trying to achieve. Cheryl and her Mum had set the
company up in 2011, doing a lot of the planning whilst Cheryl was on her
maternity leave. Cheryl is a District Nurse and Sue a registered Manager of
an Intermediate Care unit, so collectively had the perfect knowledge base.
Their idea of setting the company had developed after they had both
witnessed poor standards of care in the community and decided that they
could do things so much better. Cheryl and Sue’s aim was to build a company
that was known for its strong values and that provides holistic care to all
its clients. Within 2 years the business had grown so much, and so well
known for its reputation that the point had come to either expand massively
or to Franchise and retain some of the personal values of the company by
having ‘pockets’ of care companies rather than one large organisation.

The more I got to know about the company the more excited I became and
couldn’t wait to get started promoting the business and getting my first
client. It didn’t take long, with such an excellent reputation going before
me the referrals began to come in thick and fast and I was able to develop
my team of staff.

3yrs on and I now have 22 staff including myself and 2 care coordinators.
Since we opened our doors we have provided over 10,000hrs of care and 13,500
visits to clients in the south Wirral area.

As a single Mum running a business I battle every day, worrying about
staffing problems and all the other things which go along with owning and
running a business, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my
Friends and my family who have listened when I have had low days and thought
I couldn’t carry on and tell me repeatedly how they admire me and support
me. Eventually after 3 years I am beginning to reap the rewards and I now
have staff who run the office for me so I can concentrate on my family and
growing the business further – who knows one day maybe I will eventually
find someone special to share it all with.

My advice to anybody who finds themselves in a similar situation to me is –
I believe you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, following
your dreams. If I can do it, so can you! x

Find out more about Apollo Care http://www.apollocare.co.uk/

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