Caring Lancashire duo beat lockdown redundancy to help others into care

Lockdown redundancy did not dent the ambition of two Lancashire women who took the chance to launched their own care business.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 7th March 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2022, 1:11 pm

Maria Tomlinson, 33, and Cheryl Fell, 44, both from Longridge, created an adult caring service, Ribble Valley Bespoke Care, that aims to not only brings people want they need, but also goes one step further to bring people what they want to create a more meaningful life.

During lockdown they both found themselves facing redundancy as managers of The Palace Cinema, Longridge, with limited opportunities.

Cheryl, said: “Like many people, we had mouths to feed and we simply needed a job. Even while we ran the cinema we were using our care background to run dementia friendly screenings and autism friendly screenings.”

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Maria Tomlinson and Cheryl Fell of Longridge, who created an adult caring service, Ribble Valley Bespoke Care and a network to help other carers, the Professional Carers Network.

Both Maria, who went to St Cecilia's RC High School in Longridge and Cheryl, who attended Wellfield High School in Leyland, have 25 years of caring experience behind them and Maria had always toyed with the idea of starting a care company but there seemed to be so many barriers and unanswered questions.

But then Maria discovered you could work as a self employed carer and offer high quality care services to people in the local community. Now they are championing other people to take that leap.

Maria said: “Caring is something I've always done, I'm good at it and I love making a difference to people’s lives. Now we are able to offer the guidance we didn’t receive, making it more accessible and less risky.”

Launched this month; the duo have poured all their knowledge and expertise into their new service called Professional Carers Network.

Maria added: “We love helping people choose a career in care. We are practising what we teach day in, day out and we love it! We are passionate about showing others how they can become self-employed carers too and can discover the joys of working as a professional carer.

"People do not need to worry about lack of hours; our care company has been inundated, the hours are there. We can help people connect with others, offer guidance in training and offer step by step support. A job in caring where you can control your own working hours and conditions can become a reality and we can help you get there.”

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