We spoke to Tracey and Juan owners of 1st Care At Home to discuss the range of services they offer from include hourly based care, respite care, hospital to home care and palliative care, to working closely with the Isle of Man Hospice. Tracey applied for the Isle of Man Micro Business Grant Scheme and was appointed a small business advisor who helped her grow her business to what it is today.
Set just outside Douglas, on an industrial estate in Union Mills you’ll find 1st Care at Home. Set up originally to provide care to clients within their own home in 2013, the service has since developed into domestic support.
The range of services that have been offered since the business started include hourly based care, respite care, hospital to home care and palliative care, working closely with the Isle of Man Hospice. 1st Care also provide holiday cover when clients’ families take a well-deserved break from the caring routine and 24/7, 365 days a year live-in care and companionship.
Walking through the building, it is clear that Tracey, Care Manager and Director at 1st Care and her husband and joint owner, Juan, pride themselves on high quality service, training and experience. By offering in-house face to face training, instead of CD-ROM training, Tracey sincerely believes she is able to provide her clients with a higher standard of care and support.
‘1st Care is now hoping to expand its offering to include housekeeping, domestic support and nursing care in the near future.
We are also investigating the possibility of setting up a new mum support and care service with the aim of providing a couple of hours respite for mums with new babies who need help with shopping, cleaning or simply assisting their need to have a well-deserved rest. We envisage engaging qualified NVQ Nursery Nurses to provide this service.'
Initially, 1st Care aimed to have 10 clients within their first year. By the end of 2013, 1st Care in fact had 60 and the company has continued to grow at a very impressive rate ever since.
‘I am extremely passionate about the care industry and strongly believe in leading by example. I have worked in numerous industries throughout my career, but this is by far the most responsible job I’ve had.’
Tracey applied for the Isle of Man Micro Business Grant Scheme and was introduced to Helen Cowley, her micro business advisor, where she was mentored and supported as the business continued to grow. Tracey and Juan then went on to keep Helen as their consultant, where her advice has continued to be invaluable.
‘We recently gained a Customer Service Excellence award through the certification body, Centre for Assessment UK, which we were delighted with as we always aim to deliver the best service we can for our customers. This is undoubtedly down to our fantastic team and through the help of Helen and the Micro Business Grant Scheme on the Island. One of our greatest challenges is finding staff who are able to commit to 35 hours a week. We could easily take on another 20 people tomorrow and be three times as big due to the large demand there is on the Isle of Man for care at home.'
‘Working in the care industry in the Isle of Man can offer flexible hours for those looking to work around other commitments, and 1st Care are passionate about skilling our staff up to ensure our clients have the best care they can get.’
1st Care staff members receive continuous training and qualifications from local company ARC Learning (IOM) Limited, which are tailored to suit the needs of the care company and its clients.
‘This is a career that people can feel fulfilled in. Being in the care industry isn’t easy but neither is running your own business. I rarely work less that a 70 hour week as the owner, but that’s why it’s important to do something that you are passionate about.'
‘We are passionate about the Isle of Man, so for us, we always knew we wanted to set up our business here and we have no regrets. Our children have also been to university and have now returned to the Island to work. We sincerely believe that it is a great place to live work and raise a family.’