A story of a Care Assistant

I first decided that I’d like to work in care when I was injured in Afghanistan and carers were looking after me. Without them I wouldn’t be back on my feet.

I served 12 years in the British army and was a private in the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. In 2009 a rocket-propelled grenade exploded next to me, injuring my left knee and right ankle. I was unconscious and when I came around, I was lying on my back looking up at the sky. I thought I was dreaming; I didn’t know I was injured. I tried to stand up and I couldn’t. During the next two years I had four operations and spent time at a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed Forces. 

After I left the military, I decided it was time to give back to the community. As a Care Assistant I feel I’m doing that now, and for me that’s very important. 

I’ve always been a caring person. Before I left Fiji, I helped to care for my grandfather in the family home.  

When I was in the army, I always made sure my team were ok. In 2004 I was in Iraq, in the company commander’s vehicle when we were in an ambush. I was his gunner. My crew were injured including my company commander. When we were under fire I had to climb out of the vehicle and get him back in and I gave him first aid while we were being shot at.  

In 2014, after I left the military, I joined Bluebird Care as a Care Assistant. I was promoted to Senior, and then to Community Team Lead. I make sure my team have everything they need and I also mentor staff and support new Care Assistants who join us. 

I’m 39 with no kids, so work is my life. Sometimes I’ll work more than 60 hours a week, starting at 7am and finishing at 10pm. I’ve learnt to be flexible and go with the flow. I tell the office: ‘Whenever you need me, just let me know.’ Sometimes, if I’m free, I’ll happily work on my days off. 

I have level 2 and level 3 qualifications in health and social care, and I’ve also completed dementia and end of life training. I enjoy learning and I’ve learnt so many things from my customers. Every day I learn something new. 

I also feel like I’ve broken down the barriers that some customers may have about having a male Care Assistant. Many of our customers are ladies, and the initial meeting can be quite daunting for them. However, I get to know them; I hear their stories and they hear mine. Sometimes there’s a mutual connection; their husband may have served in the military and when they hear I did too, there’s a bond there. I really enjoy getting to know my customers and their families.  

It’s very important to me to treat my customers with respect and dignity. I talk to them and tell them: “I’m here for you.” 

It’s also important for them to stay in their own home. Maybe it has been their family home ever since they were young. It reminds them of their family, their past, they know where everything is. It’s familiar and its somewhere they feel safe. 

I always make sure my job is done to the best of my ability. When I come home, I normally sit and review my day and I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile. 

Every now and then I sing songs to my customers, such as: “You are my sunshine.” I sing to them because it gives them a lift, makes them smile and takes their mind off things. Most of them live on their own and really enjoy the company. 

The people I look after feel like family to me. I ask myself: “If this was my grandma or grandpa, how would I want them to be treated?” 

Not long after I started working with Bluebird Care, I met Joe. He was a teenager, he had muscular dystrophy and was in a wheelchair. Initially he was quiet and a little apprehensive, but as we got to know each other we became great friends. He was an amazing young man. He loved life and was a very caring person. We’d watch movies together and talk about the films we’d watched. He loved gardening and he liked Lego and cars. It was just amazing being with Joe. 

There were a few nights when he couldn’t sleep, and we’d just sit, and chat and I’d reassure him. “I’m here for however long you want me and need me,” I told him. I was at his side right to the end and I was able to say goodbye to him. I read a bible verse at his funeral. When he passed away it broke my heart. Joe was like my little brother. 

I think I’m in the best job for me and I’d definitely encourage other people to become carers. I want to say a massive thank you to Bluebird Care for opening the door to me and giving me the opportunity to work with them. 

In 2022 I was named UK Care Assistant of the Year for Bluebird Care. I was speechless. I honestly felt that all my colleagues, the 9,000 Care Assistants for Bluebird Care, deserved the award, not only me. 

I love my job. I like to see the smiles on the faces of my customers and for me that’s the biggest reward of all. 

Mark Croy scoops Care Worker of the Year at the Scottish Care Awards

On Friday 19th of May, Scottish Care held their annual Care at home & housing support awards at Radisson Blu in Glasgow. The awards ceremony was hosted by Pop Idol winner, Michelle McManus and Scottish Care CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill.

The evening comprised of 11 awards where Bluebird Care Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow South was shortlisted for Provider of the Year and our Bluebird Care Edinburgh Care Assistant was shortlisted for Care Worker of the Year.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, it was a great evening celebrating a bunch of amazing people who are all doing their bit to support the people in our community. If you’d like to read more, click on the below link:

https://scottishcare.org/care-at-home-housing-support-awards-2023-winners/(link is external)

When the award categories were published months ago, the Senior Leadership Team sat and discussed what awards they’d like to enter and who they would like to nominate.

Care Worker of the Year seemed like an obvious choice. We regularly receive ‘Excellent’ rating by the Care Inspectorate and that wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team who go out day in day out to deliver person centred high-quality home care. Whilst we had a few people who we knew had really gone over and above recently, we decided to let our team make the final vote.

It was amazing to see so many people put Mark Croy forward stating that he embodies the Bluebird Care values. Not only does he genuinely care for our customers but also the team around him.

He is passionate about delivering the very best care and always looking for ways to make his customers smile. But it doesn’t stop there, he also supports his peers. He constantly has a positive can-do attitude and brings smiles and laughter to many.

One example that really stood out to his peers and the very reason they wanted to nominate Mark was the support that he offered to his fellow Care Assistant, Val.

Mark and Val had just finished delivering care to a customer and whilst on their way to their next cal, Val crashed her car resulting in damage that needed repairing.

Unfortunately, as Val was expecting this situation to happen, she didn’t have the funds available to make the repairs and wanted to continue working to help our customers. Due to this, Val continued to drive her damaged car for weeks with no repair in sight.

Mark found out about Val’s situation and wanted to try and help his peer. In the background, he organised a sponsored walk starting at Musselburgh’s Brunton Theatre and going all the way to the top of Arthur’s Seat and back to Musselburgh. This is no easy walk especially as Arthurs’s Seat is 252 metres high. It took Mark just over 5 hours of his own personal time to complete and he managed to raise £365.

Whilst £365 is a fantastic contribution towards Val’s repairs, it still wasn’t quite enough. He didn’t let it stop him, he reached out to the Directors of Bluebird Care Edinburgh, Jane, and John Perry to make them aware of the situation and see if they were able to help in any way.

As Mark had gone over and above for a member of the Bluebird Care family, the pair decided to match his contribution resulting in £730 to p

ut towards Val’s car repairs.

Val was then invited into the office to receive her cheque, Val said, “I am overwhelmed with what Mark has done for me and thank you Jane an


d John for contributing.  I’m amazed by all who sponsored Mark”.

Mark said, “I wanted to complete the sponsored walk so that I could give back to Val. As a Bluebird Care, Care Assistant she is a true gem who gives her all every day”.

Mark’s dedication to the team and passion for helping others has also resulted in Mark receiving assistance from our team as his own car broke and he was provided with the Bluebird Care company car.

Bluebird Care hosts right royal celebrations across the country to mark the coronation

Bluebird Care businesses across the country hosted celebrations fit for a king over the past week, as Care Assistants helped their local communities to mark the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Conscious that the coronation would be particularly poignant for older customers who remember Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, Bluebird Care sought to make the momentous occasion as special as possible.

Care teams in Sandwell, Southend & Rochford, Totton, and Canterbury & Thanet arranged l

arge parties to help customers celebrate the historic occasion in the company of old and new friends. Bluebird Care’s specialist teams volunteered their time to provide refreshments, oversee entertainment, and make sure that everybody could participate in celebrations. Guests sung and danced to their favourite party tunes and patriotic anthems, and enjoyed plenty of t

raditional treats such as cream teas and cakes. Every member of the local community was welcomed to participate in these festivities, with guests across the country even including a hamster (Sandwell), a therapy dog (Canterbury & Thanet), and a friendly goat (Totton)!

Local Bluebird Care teams were keen to ensure that their customers could also join in the patriotic fun from the comfort of their homes. Care Assistants in Leeds North, Exeter & Devon, and Redbridge, Epping & Harlow surprised customers by delivering novelty crowns, flags, and union jack hats to help their customers to feel like royalty themselves. These unexpected home visits also provided an opportunity for customers to share their hopes for the new King and Queen, as well as their fond memories of previous royal celebrations.

Hannah Banfield, Marketing and Communications Director at Bluebird Care, said: “It was a real pleasure to see our Bluebird Care teams across the country help their communities to celebrate the coronation. Bluebird Care is driven by our passion for kind and personalised care, and the weekend’s events offered more instances of our wonderful care teams going above and beyond to help their customers celebrate the best in life.”

85-year-old Wendy, Bluebird Care Redbridge, Epping and Harlow customer, said: “I have happy memories of celebrating the last coronation as a 15-year-old, so was particularly excited to witness another historic royal event. Imagine my joy when Julie arrived with a cream tea to mark the occasion! The scone was a wonderfully kind and unexpected gesture, and it was a delight to celebrate the coronation in the company of others: thank you for making this occasion even more special!”

Lennard Melville, Bluebird Care Sandwell customer from Oldbury, said: “I have not felt my best since losing my wife in December, and this party was a wonderful tonic. The celebrations and dancing has helped to bring back happy memories and to restore some of my confidence: thank you to all who made it so special!”

Kayleigh Martin, Registered Manager at Bluebird Care Sandwell, said: “It was a delight to bring all of our customers and carers together under one roof to celebrate the coronation together. Seeing our customers happy makes our job worthwhile, and it was an honour to help those that we support to celebrate this momentous occasion in the company of old and new friends.”

Bluebird Care wins ‘Marketing Expertise’ award at the Home Care Awards

Bluebird Care has been recognised as the country’s leading Home Care Marketing Experts at the Home Care Awards. These national awards celebrate excellence in all forms of home care services, from domiciliary care to assisted living and palliative care. Against the backdrop of sector-wide staffing challenges, the home care provider impressed with its robust marketing strategies to maintain a consistent candidate pipeline.

The prestigious award not only recognises Bluebird Care’s exemplary work in promoting a rewarding career in care, but also showcases valuable examples of marketing innovation to other providers who are seeking to drive recruitment. Judges were particularly impressed by the home care provider’s work to uncover and share compelling care stories from their businesses across the UK and Ireland. Not only did these diverse case studies encourage potential recruits to recognise themselves and their potential, but they also stressed the human stories that are at the heart of a meaningful career in care. By foregrounding the rewards of a career in care in this way, Bluebird Care also succeeded in positioning the company as the employer of choice to prospective colleagues both in the social care sector and beyond.

The home care provider was also praised for harnessing the network of close relationships that underpin social care to boost its recruitment efforts. Dedicated and strategic use of the Care Friends staff referral app by almost 90% of Bluebird Care businesses enabled the brand to welcome hundreds of new care assistants across the UK. Actively involving team members in the recruitment process in this way has enhanced the company’s proud culture of engaging and rewarding colleagues.

The impact of Bluebird Care’s wide-ranging and innovative approach to marketing speaks for itself: judges were astonished to learn how 2022 saw Bluebird Care beat its recruitment targets by 150%, whilst the company beat these targets by 130% in 2021.

Dean Martin, Head of Marketing at Bluebird Care, said: “It is a huge honour to win this Home Care Award! Just as rewarding as this achievement is seeing the direct impact that our marketing efforts have on the lives of our care teams and the communities that they serve. At Bluebird Care we are now excited to continue developing our marketing strategies, to attract even more exceptional care assistants and cement our national reputation as the home care provider of choice.”

Bluebird Care Awards UK – Winners Revealed!

On Wednesday 23rd November, Business Owners, Care Assistants, Team Members and Managers from across the UK gathered in London to celebrate excellence at Bluebird Care.

15 finalists were selected from 100’s of nominations to attend an awards ceremony at the world-famous Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, where each of them were recognised for the incredible work that they do in their roles every day, supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The 15 finalists were split across 3 categories:

Care Assistant of the Year

  • Mandy Neale – Lancaster & South Lakeland
  • Carl Yee-Lim – Winchester, Eastleigh & Alton
  • Julie Fitzpatrick – Worcester & Wychavon
  • Diane Weir – Coleraine
  • Mark Dawson – Shropshire

Registered Manager of the Year

  • Sophie Emmess – Portsmouth
  • Clarissa Courtney – Kensington & Chelsea
  • Sophie Bellwood – Leeds North
  • Rebecca Weaver – Stratford & Warwick
  • Terina Jones – Highgate & Haringey

Team Member of the Year

  • Dan Langridge – Winchester, Eastleigh & Alton
  • Sharon McLoughlin – Fareham
  • Michelle Watkins – South Gloucestershire
  • Terri Gibbs – Waltham Forest
  • Michaela Phillips – Worcester & Wychavon

Each finalists and their guests enjoyed High Tea before meeting our panel of judges; Dr Jane Townson; Gemma Lloyd; and Cheryl Beard who had the huge task of deciding which of our finalists would take home the overall winners trophies. Every one of our finalists received a certificate and finalist trophy before the overall winners were revealed.

A massive congratulations to Carl Yee-Lim, our Care Assistant of the Year, Terina Jones, our Registered Manager of the Year and Michelle Watkins, our Team Member of the Year.

Well done to all finalists, and of course our overall winners, you are all such a credit to Bluebird Care!

Bluebird Care Launches Nationwide Campaign To Support Ukraine

Leading home care provider Bluebird Care has launched a nationwide campaign across their 200+ UK offices to support the people of Ukraine. 

The ongoing humanitarian crisis has gripped the hearts and minds of the country, and Bluebird Care has responded to the tragedy with unwavering selflessness and determination. Alongside a national fundraising campaign for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), many of the provider’s offices have mounted their own initiatives to show solidarity with Ukrainians.

Bluebird Care Exeter, North, East and West Devon are set to raise just under £15,000 to send urgent medical supplies to the southern city of Odesa, with Directors, Will Flint and Sara Flint, working hard to purchase essential medical supplies to be shipped to those on the frontline in Ukraine’s war effort. These medical supplies will equip soldiers on the ground with essential equipment such as antibiotics, thyroid medication, and essentials such as Sudocrem, which are all in short supply. The Bluebird Care team’s first consignment of €17,000 has already been successfully shipped on 18th March.

At Bluebird Care Lancaster & South Lakeland, staff members, customers and their friends and families came together over two weeks to raise £755 and collect a haul of essential supplies for the frontline of the crisis. Claire Evans, Director of the Lancaster & South Lakeland franchise, said that she believed her office had “a duty to help” and that they “could not just watch [the conflict] happen.”

Ross Perkins, Director of Bluebird Care South Somerset, West Dorset & Purbeck, who is also a sculptor, will be donating the funds raised from the sale of a number of his artworks to Ukraine. This includes a steel anchor made from aluminium which is currently on sale at The George Hotel in Castle Cary for £200.

Bluebird Care Rushmoor & Surrey Heath are also donating £5 to the DEC for every supportive thought shared for Ukrainians, with a number of team members already offering kind words. Meanwhile, Bluebird Care’s offices across Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell, Windsor & Maidenhead are sending shoeboxes filled with gifts to Ukrainian children, and are encouraging others in their communities to take part in their initiative.

Bluebird Care’s national fundraising page for the DEC can be accessed here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bluebirdcareukraine

Speaking of the remarkable efforts of those across Bluebird Care, Hannah Banfield, Marketing and Communications Director at Bluebird Care, said: 

“Bluebird Care stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We are deeply saddened and shocked by the conflict which has engulfed the country and the senseless violence now facing many thousands of innocent people.

“At Bluebird Care, we are proud of the selflessness being displayed across our network, with countless fundraising campaigns and initiatives raising much-needed funds for the people of Ukraine. Alongside these fantastic local initiatives, we’re pleased to launch a central JustGiving page for all those connected with Bluebird Care across the country to donate to. We #StandWithUkraine!”

Bluebird Care Scoop Four Awards At The National Care Awards

There was great cause for celebration as leading home care provider, Bluebird Care, were named triple award winners and ‘Highly Commended’ for a fourth, at the National Great British Care Awards held on 18th March at the ICC Birmingham.

The Great British Care Awards take place throughout the UK to celebrate excellence across the care sector. Paying homage to individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond within their field, they are highly sort after by all within the care industry.

After being named triumphant in their regional awards, three fantastic Bluebird Care team members and one outstanding team were shortlisted in national awards against other regional award winners from across the country.

And, on this occasion, it was an evening to remember as Liz Hunter, who is based at the North Tyneside & North Northumberland franchise, and Hayley McMeekin and her team at Bluebird Camden & Hampstead were named victorious for the ‘Home Care Worker’ award, ‘Palliative Care’ award, and ‘Home Care Team’ award respectively.

Jane Howard, Care Assistant at the Croydon office, also found success during the remarkable award ceremony for Bluebird Care as she was ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Putting People First’ award.

Despite a challenging period for the care sector, the already award-winning home care provider has continued to go from strength to strength over the last 12 months, with Bluebird Care providing vital home care support to customers and launching industry-leading initiatives throughout the UK.

The judges were particularly impressed by the tenacity and resilience displayed by Bluebird Care’s team members, as well as their enduring hard work, selflessness, and dedication to the needs of others.

Reflecting on their award success, Hannah Banfield, Marketing and Communications Director at Bluebird Care, said: 

“To have been triumphant in four categories at these prestigious awards is a truly incredible achievement. We are extremely proud of all our winners and their dedication over the past year. They are exemplary examples of the incredible work, devotion, and caring approach Bluebird Care brings to our customers across the UK. These accolades are indicative of this and demonstrate Bluebird Care’s industry-leading credentials. Congratulations all, you deserve it!”

Bluebird Care Named As Finalists For Three Home Care Awards

Leading home care provider Bluebird Care has been revealed as a finalist for three separate awards in the upcoming Home Care Awards.

The business is being recognised by the Home Care Awards for excellence in three separate categories: Team Support Expertise, Marketing Expertise and Best Overall Home Care Group.

Founded in 2004, Bluebird Care has grown to be one of the UK’s largest home care providers, with franchises across the country caring for people in their own homes. Visits cover a variety of individualised care services, from companionship, home help and personal care, to trips in the community, dementia care and 24-hour live-in care.

The Home Care Award judges were particularly impressed with the Bluebird Care Marketing Team who help their offices to acquire customers and boost their reputation within their local communities. This is achieved through allocating each Bluebird Care franchise with a Regional Marketing Manager who offers bespoke guidance, advice and expertise.

Much like the wider social care sector, Bluebird Care has also witnessed a challenging twelve months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Care Assistants at Bluebird Care have braved floods, snow, early mornings and late nights to serve the country’s most vulnerable on a day-to-day basis. Recognising these outstanding efforts and Bluebird Care’s continued growth in the sector, the Home Care Awards have shortlisted Bluebird Care for the Best Overall Homecare Group category.

Adding to the duo, Bluebird Care has scooped a third shortlisting after being named as a finalist for the Team Support Expertise category. With over 200 franchises across the UK, this shortlisting is a testament to Bluebird Care’s efforts behind the scenes which has helped their offices to continue delivering exceptional care to individuals across the country. In addition, Bluebird Care has continued on its journey for further growth, with an unwavering commitment to empowering their franchise owners to recruit talented team members to deliver home care services.

Bluebird Care will discover if they have been victorious in their categories at the Home Care Awards’ ceremony which is due to take place on 1st April 2022 at the National Conference Centre in Solihull.

Speaking of their shortlisting, Dean Martin, National Marketing Manager at Bluebird Care, said:


“The Marketing Team work tirelessly to give each franchise the best chance of succeeding in their particular region. Every decision and choice we make is carefully thought out to give our offices the best chance of reaching more customers in need of our services. To be shortlisted in for this prestigious category with such strong competition is a mark of the fantastic work across our Marketing Team who should take great pride in this achievement.”


Hannah Banfield, Marketing and Communications Director, said:


“I would like to extend my pride and congratulations to every single colleague, franchise owner and Care Assistant involved in the efforts that have seen us recognised by the Home Care Awards in three separate categories. Irrespective of the final results, this is a just recognition of the outstanding dedication, hard work and efforts of each Bluebird Care colleague over the last 12 months. Congratulations all!”

First Ever Bluebird Care Care Assistant Becomes Franchise Director

Allen Vanderwyk-Coyne started working with Bluebird Care in 2006 as a Care Assistant. He has spent 14 years cultivating his career and his passion for excellent quality care has helped him to progress in his roles. He started as the first Care Assistant at Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs and is now Director of the franchise. Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs was Bluebird Care’s first ever franchise, so Allen was the first ever Bluebird Care Care Assistant.

Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs provides comprehensive home care packages ranging from respite care to full time live-in care. Allen and his team work above and beyond to provide home care that is tailored to each customer’s specific needs.

Though his role has changed throughout the years, Allen understands how important it is to truly care for others. As someone who started his career as a Care Assistant, Allen wants to do more for his staff and customers to show them how much they are appreciated. Allen celebrates his team with ‘Years of Service’ milestones amongst other initiatives.


“I am Bluebird Care through and through. Starting as the first franchise Care Worker 14 years ago, to now buying the business, is an absolute dream for me. I have worked in the care sector for around 27 years. I still love it as much today as I did when I first started. Bluebird Care has afforded me so many opportunities to advance my career and I am so grateful to be the Director of Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs. I would recommend Bluebird Care to anyone looking for a meaningful and rewarding career.”

Allen Vanderwyk-Coyne, Director of Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs


“We were delighted to award Allen the franchise. The operational knowledge he has gained over the last 14  years, coupled with his commitment to the brand, and motivation to deliver outstanding care in his community, will no doubt be the driving force behind Allen’s continued success. As franchisor, we will continue to provide him with our award-winning support in all aspects of the business, now as a franchisee. From finance, business systems, IT, to field-based marketing, business development and quality assurance, we pride ourselves in offering continuous learning and development plans for our franchisees, plus initial training to give our franchisees the detail, knowledge, and assurance to set up and run the business.”

Victoria Brown, Franchise Development Manager at Bluebird Care


Now leading his own business, Allen spends most of his time networking, focusing on taking Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs to its next level and continuing to create a welcoming and transparent culture within his team.

Despite the significant challenges the Covid-19 pandemic presented, Bluebird Care Mid-Staffs has continued to push the boundaries to maintain their position at the forefront of the private home care market.

Get in contact with us to find out more about becoming part of the Bluebird Care network

Bluebird Care win gold for ‘Outstanding Franchise Marketing’ at the Approved Franchise Association (AFA) Awards.

Bluebird Care win gold for ‘Outstanding Franchise Marketing’ at the Approved Franchise Association (AFA) Awards.

Bluebird Care, a national provider of domiciliary care (home care), recently won the Gold Award for ‘Outstanding Franchise Marketing’ at the Approved Franchise Association (AFA) Awards. The care provider was also highly commended in the ‘Best Franchise Support’ category.

The ‘Outstanding Franchise Marketing Award’ considered both online and offline activities, including a franchise’s website, social media, online campaigns, print media, events, and public relations. Bluebird Care won the award for demonstrating excellence in marketing activities aimed at both potential franchisees and consumers.

Bluebird Care’s Marketing Team has worked above and beyond this year in extraordinary times, and has seen some incredible results using their new National Marketing Strategy – which launched at the end of 2019. The home care provider’s approach incorporated digital innovation, a well-suited strategy during an unprecedented year in which face-to-face marketing has been difficult.

Bluebird Care’s main website had stagnated in terms of its visitors for several years with little uplift in enquiry or application volumes, so the team wanted to implement some game-changing initiatives. Bluebird Care’s new National Marketing Manager, Dean Martin, orchestrated the launch of the live chat service, offering visitor engagement across the website 24/7. The care provider used franchise industry experts to deliver the live chat tool, and they generated nearly 20,000 chat engagements in the first six months.

Bluebird Care has also implemented three new Regional Marketing Managers, who work on a local basis in branded vehicles to “take marketing to the people”. The field-marketing experts take regular, programmed face-to-face visits to understand what franchise owners are looking to achieve. They help identify local PR stories that can generate enquiries, as well as implementing social media recruitment campaigns. They are also on hand to help organise leaflet drops, record testimonials and generate customer reviews. All of this helps Bluebird Care’s franchises attract both new customers and Care Assistants.

The Judging Panel at the AFA Awards commended Bluebird Care on their “committed approach” to marketing, they said:

Bluebird Care demonstrated strong commitment and good balance to support and grow the franchisees and care for the users of their services. They also demonstrated good use of social platforms, and strong and relevant press/media coverage.

The judges were also impressed as Bluebird Care reached their marketing targets well ahead of schedule. Within six months of the New National Marketing Strategy implementation, they had already completed their marketing aims for the year. Since 2019, Bluebird Care has successfully increased website traffic by 230%, customer enquiries are up by 340% and applications to jobs at Bluebird Care have increased by 250%.

Additionally, Bluebird Care works alongside PLMR, a communications agency that specialises in providing PR, reputation management, public affairs and digital marketing services, to identify press opportunities both locally and nationally. At the time of writing the entry, taking into account January 2020 – June 2020, Bluebird Care and PLMR had secured 140 pieces of coverage, 80% of which have been secured for franchises on a local level. This coverage equates to a reach of 22 million people across a variety of different publications.

Marketing and Communications Director at Bluebird Care, Hannah Banfield, said:

“We are honoured to win the AFA Award for our outstanding franchise marketing. It was also great to be highly commended for our franchise support. This year has undoubtedly been a challenge, however, thanks to a great team and an innovative strategy we have been able to market our care services more effectively than ever.

Our new marketing strategy has enabled us to hire new Care Assistants across the UK, at a time when unemployment is a concern for many. We have also been on hand to offer high quality, personalised home care to many new customers. Many of these new queries are a direct result of our extensive marketing and PR endeavours.

We will continue to showcase our incredible network of businesses across all channels, as we continue to keep our franchise owners engaged and involved in the development of the brand, so that engagement and buy-in remains strong.”


Bluebird Care campaigns alongside other care providers for zero-rated VAT status for social care

Bluebird Care is working alongside other top home care providers to campaign for social care provision to be zero-rated for VAT.

Bluebird Care is working alongside other top home care providers to campaign for social care provision to be zero-rated for VAT. Services offered by care providers are currently exempt from VAT, but top home care providers have called for the status of social care provision to change from exempt to zero-rated. This would allow them to reclaim VAT on expenses.

Due to Covid-19, operational business costs have risen. The volume of PPE required has increased while the price of PPE has soared. Other costs to social care providers include regulatory fees, staff training expenses, rising insurance costs, mileage, and investments in technology to allow for remote work.

Bluebird Care has teamed up with other leading home care providers to write to Rishi Sunak with the proposed updated VAT status.

Wayne Smith, Acting Managing Director & Finance Director of Bluebird Care, said:

“We operate in a highly regulated sector, there are lots of costs of running a business like ours that are often not given full consideration. “Margins were incredibly tight before the pandemic and now are even more so, which makes it incredibly difficult.

Savings from the zero-rated VAT status would be invested back into the home care businesses to support their care teams and customers”.

Wayne joined several other industry leaders on an hour-long webinar hosted by BBC journalist, Ben Thompson. The leaders included, Martin Jones, chief executive of Home Instead Senior Care, Ken Deary, chief executive of Right At Home, Lisa Fyfe finance director from Caremark, Alex Green, director of Radfield Home Care, Yvonne Tomlinson, chief executive at KarePlus and Michelle Fenwick, director of Heritage Healthcare.

Wayne added:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shined a light on the care sector like never before. Finally, those who work so hard to care for the most vulnerable in society are getting the recognition they deserve. With this updated VAT status, home care providers will be able to give more back to their teams and customers. It would be a relatively small cost to the Government, but would completely transform the sector – helping businesses that are contributing so much to their local communities.


I am proud that Bluebird Care is part of such a worthwhile campaign.”