Extra Help

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Need assistance with domestic tasks such as preparing meals, shopping, walking the dog or just a bit of company now and again?

Claire Robinson

All About Irene; One Of My First Plymouth Clients

She's still going strong ...

Posted on: 14/11/2013   By: Claire Robinson

I was reminiscing earlier about some of the clients we have helped here in Plymouth. One of my favourite ladies is called Irene. I first met her when her son called me after seeing our advert in the local magazine ...

One of my first Extra Help clients here in Plymouth was Irene. She loves food shopping at M&S and we often go for trips out too!

One of my first Extra Help clients here in Plymouth was Irene. She loves food shopping at M&S and we often go for trips out too!

He had recently undergone an operation on his hip and couldn't do too much for his Mum at the present time so needed Extra Help. When I went to meet Irene she was lovely. She lives in Plymouth in a managed apartment block.

Irene wanted to get out and about, but found it difficult on her own. She walks with a frame and is scared to go anywhere on her own. She had lost her husband a year or so earlier and that had taken its toll on her confidence.

Irene loves food shopping in Marks and Spencer; this is her treat to herself. So every Monday morning, we used to go to the local M&S and do her shopping. Irene is real good fun and when I first started the Plymouth franchise I wanted to be hands on and experience all of the roles myself.

Irene has four hours help a week. Two hours on a Monday and two on a Thursday. As I mentioned, Monday's were usually her shopping day and on the Thursday we used to go out and about. Irene loves a good bargain so we'd drive to Mutley Plane and trawl through the charity shops there.

Sometimes we'd go up onto the Hoe for a coffee and watch the ships sailing past. I loved my time looking after Irene but as the franchise grew I knew I had to put more hours into running the business rather than the doing bit.

You see Extra Help is a franchise. I'm actually one of the franchisors and chose to set up the Plymouth franchise when I moved to the South West three years ago. The idea for Extra Help came from my friend - and now business partner - Sarah Jackson.

Sarah had a cleaning franchise and I had a magazine company and she advertised with me. We are both of similar character and decided to set up this business together. As I had no experience in this field, I decided to start from the ground up, especially as we had plans to franchise the business and I needed to have the experience first-hand of running a franchise to teach it. Hence my role as home helper with Irene.

I then found Louise Pen-Collings, who I knew from networking. She wanted some part time work so willingly became a home helper for Extra Help and took on Irene along with a few other clients. Later Louise came to work with me as manager of the Plymouth and SE Cornwall franchises. I think the experience of being home helpers has given us both invaluable experience of running the local franchise as well as the company as a whole.

I'm pleased to say that Irene is still going strong two years later, is still a valued client and our home helper Debbie now takes care of her. I pop in when I'm passing and share a cup of tea and have a natter. Irene really is a fabulous lady and we all love her to bits.

If you have an elderly relative or know someone who needs some Extra Help, please visit our website, give us a call on +44 (0) 845 618 2904 or click here to ping over an email and we'll put you in touch with the franchisee for your local area.

Until next time ...


More about Claire Robinson ...

Claire is a serial entrepreneur having successfully established a networking group, a magazine advertising company and a building contracting company over the past few years.

Now living in Cornwall and handling Extra Help operations countrywide, Claire has a passion for business and is determined to grow Extra Help into a nationwide brand.


0845 6182904



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