Abhay Shah hadn't always planned to have a career in care. Working as an Audit Executive at Ernst & Young, he looked into the prospect of starting his own business when the daily number crunching became monotonous.
After deciding to work in the social care sector, Abhay visited a number of home care franchises to decide which one would be right for him.
"Having visited a few franchises before I met Caremark, the difference in their approach was stark. Straightaway, the emphasis placed on the quality of care that's expected of all Caremark franchises was evident," he commented.
As a characteristically shy person, Abhay has had to push outside his comfort zone to talk about his business to as many people as he can. This experience is reflected in the advice he offers to anyone considering to run their own business: "Challenge yourself. Get uncomfortable!".
His first year hasn't been without its ups and down, but he considers it all worth it when he hears the success stories of his Care & Support Workers and the difference they have made to people's lives.
One client took their first bath in four years, became more socially interactive and rekindled former hobbies such as cooking, after receiving excellent quality home care from a Caremark (Hillingdon) Care & Support Worker. It's stories such as this one which have made any of the challenging moments of the last twelve months all the more worthwhile.
After such a drastic change to his career, does he have any regrets or anything he would have done differently?
"I wish I had started my franchise earlier! It has certainly been challenging but I am proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time."
Sharan Dhaliwal launched her Caremark franchise after a career in the NHS, spanning 25 years.
Before buying his Caremark franchise, Colin Evans had a long and successful career in sales and sales management.
A day in the life of Martin Steyn from Caremark in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling.
Duncan Smith was new to the social care sector when he started his Caremark franchise in Kirklees.
Friends and former colleagues Andrew Peace and Mark McKenning launched their first Caremark franchise in Barnsley in 2011.
Husband and wife team Richard and Emily Magrath are the owners of Caremark in North Down, Ards & Belfast.
Caremark's Charles Folkes delivers over 3000 hours of care per week to vulnerable individuals in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
After doing some research, there was really no doubt in our minds, that the only choice we would be happy with would be Caremark, given the emphasis on care and not profit.– Richard Magrath, Caremark North Down, Ards & Belfast
I researched various sectors before reaching the decision that domiciliary care offered the sustainability and a straightforward business model which allowed for positive cashflow and personal reward.– Charles Folkes, Caremark Redcar & Cleveland
Since I joined, Caremark has done everything they promised they would do. The support has always been there and Kevin Lewis has even come out and given me a morale boost when I've needed it.Amarjit Gill, Caremark Redditch & Bromsgrove
A strong ratio of 15:1 between franchisees and Regional Support Managers
CEO and founder of Caremark Kevin Lewis has over 25 years of experience in the UK home care sector