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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.”

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