"I looked at other home-care franchises but Blossom was the one for me because it’s nurse-led"
Mary Ada Alajemba is not your average franchisee. Motivated not by money but by the difference she can make to people’s lives, she was drawn to Blossom Home Care by the fact it’s led by a Registered Nurse.
She felt a kindred spirit to Fiona Leggott, co-founder of Blossom Home Care, who has such a reputation in the industry that Mary Ada chose to bring her own seven years’ experience as a Registered Nurse to the rapidly-growing award-winning network.
“I looked at several other home-care franchises but realised immediately that Blossom was the one for me because it’s nurse-led,” says Mary Ada.
“It’s dedicated to helping people remain in their own homes on their own terms and keep their dignity instead of having to go into a residential home.
“As a nurse working on hospital wards, I’ve seen the effect that the shortage of proper social care is having on people, and on the NHS.
“Patients who are perfectly fit to go home have to remain in hospital, blocking beds, because they need support to live independently at home and it just isn’t there.
“And some patients end up back in hospital because the social care they were receiving at home simply wasn’t good enough.
“That’s so demoralising for them, as they psyched themselves up to go home from hospital only to be bounced back because they can’t get the care they need at home.”
Mary Ada believes passionately in giving the sort of holistic care for which Blossom is famous, so its insistence that home visits should always be for a minimum of 50 minutes was hugely persuasive in her decision to become a Blossom franchisee.
“I chose Blossom because they put the quality of care before everything else,” she says. “Like me, Fiona is on a mission to take the first-rate care we deliver as hospital nurses into our clients’ own homes.”
As Blossom’s franchisee in Greenwich and Dartford, Mary Ada puts her own desire to own her own business way below the needs of the people who depend on Blossom as a true alternative to residential care.
The respect she has as a senior and experienced nurse is already opening doors for her with local social care commissioners, and she already had 20 care workers in place before launching the business.
And while Blossom’s higher-than-average pay may make recruitment easier, Mary Ada says she’s only employing care workers whose passion, like hers, Fiona’s and co-founder John Leggott’s, is to offer the level of premium care-in-the-home that they would choose for themselves if they ever needed it.
Single mother Mary Ada, who will be the Registered Manager, says she’d been looking for a flexible role that would give her time with her two young children and allow her to continue practising her nursing skills.
She recoils from describing herself as “the boss”.
“Carers want someone who is hands-on and works alongside them,” she says. “That’s what they see in me.
“I won’t be a boss, just one of everybody, like a carer. I have a great rapport with them.”
She says Blossom were very quick to respond to her initial enquiry, answered all of her questions, and, thanks to having Fiona at the helm, had the same level, of understanding of nursing and social care as she does.
“Blossom is like a family,” she adds. “That’s the kind of business I want.”
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