Business owner - Jane Perry: Glasgow South, Edinburgh & Ayrshire
Find out what drives local Bluebird Care business owners
Written by Jane Perry, Owner of Bluebird Care Glasgow South, Edinburgh and Ayrshire:
Every hour of care that we deliver needs to be an hour of care that I’d want for my granny. That’s my measuring stick. I set up the business when I couldn’t find the right care for her.
Gran lived in a tenement block and had cancer and emphysema. Every fortnight she took her turn cleaning the communal stairs. ‘Gran, you can’t do that,’ I told her, there was dust everywhere.
I talked to her about having a little bit of care to help. My idea was that gran would gradually get to know the carer and then, as her illness progressed, she would trust them to do more, maybe going to the shops for her or helping her to wash.
I did my research and made the calls, but when some of them were answered I thought: ‘I wouldn’t leave my goldfish with you.’
My husband John and I purchased Bluebird Care Edinburgh in 2007. I’d been working in finance and had been made redundant four times. John had also been made redundant from his job as a Sales Manager. We were both caring people. We fostered 16 boys over four years and we’re still in touch with them now.
Our business has grown gradually, and I believe that’s because of our reputation. We purchased Bluebird Care Glasgow in 2012 and Bluebird Care Ayrshire in 2021. I think we have a lot to offer. There’s a huge need within communities for good quality care. We offer an excellent service, we’ve won awards and we’re highly rated by the care inspector.
Word of mouth has been fantastic for us, we care for sisters and friends, and have been recommended by GPs and social workers.
Now we have around 150 staff and more than 200 customers, ranging in age from 31 to over 100.
Every one of our customers is different and so is every care plan. Care is designed around what they want and when they want it. I try to chat to most of them, it’s that personal touch that’s important, some of them have been with us for ten years and more.
There are special times every day, like watching Mr and Mrs Gregory dance around our training room at an event one Christmas. It was beautiful to see. She had dementia and they hadn’t danced for a long time. Mrs Gregory died not long after. It may have been the last time they danced together. I’ve tears in my eyes now just thinking about it.
Or the day we took it in turns to push Allison’s wheelchair as part of a Race for Life 5k. Allison had Multiple Sclerosis and was virtually housebound, but we pushed her wheelchair up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. I remember the joy on her face, she had the time of her life.
Bluebird Care is like a family. We care for each other. We have a wonderfully diverse, dedicated team of well-trained people, some of whom have been with us right from the start.
I get to know them, what they like, their hobbies, their children’s names. When they walk through our office door and I ask them if they want a cup of tea, I want them to feel I’m a friend. I want them to feel valued. I’ve seen John make toast for our staff.
I’ve done every role in the business, including delivering care and coordinating care. I role up my sleeves and get stuck in.
Watching our staff grow is just the best thing, watching their journey and seeing them develop and get promoted, that’s very special for me.
Recruiting the right people is important. We look for someone who cares, someone like me who genuinely feels empathy and has a passion for looking after people. We don’t need qualifications or someone who has done the job before. We provide all the training and support they need.
I was born in Glasgow and John is from Edinburgh and I feel it is good to give back to the community in whatever way we can.
I love what I do, it’s so rewarding, and I’m proud of what we have achieved. Making someone’s life better gives me huge satisfaction. My granny passed away in 2010 but I think that she would have been proud of us too.
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