Often in life, it’s not what you know, but who you know!
This week, it gives me enormous pleasure to introduce Charlie Hawkes, who has recently joined the Extra Help family as the proud owner of our new franchise in North & Mid Devon.
Charlie’s territory is vast and includes over 113,000 homes, including Honiton and Cullompton in East Devon; Tiverton and Crediton in Mid Devon; Umberleigh, Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe in North Devon; plus the many towns and rural villages within these areas.
Although he currently lives in Plymouth, Charlie was brought up in Goodleigh, North Devon, where he lived with his parents and sister for twenty years. He grew up in a caring environment as his mother was a community care worker and often took him along to meet and spend time with the people she worked with.
Charlie originally built a career in the leisure industry, firstly by working for Parkdean Resorts as a sport and leisure manager. He then worked for a lady who owned an estate on Exmoor as her estate manager, looking after the house and gardens.
“It was a brilliant job – I was working for a lady whose family were farmers and was involved with every aspect of running a massive estate. I loved it!” says Charlie.
After this, Charlie moved to Plymouth, where he met and became friends with Claire Robinson, our managing director, and her daughter, Sarah Canny, owner of Extra Help South Hams, West Devon & Bude. He currently works for a hot tub servicing company as an engineer and plans to continue whilst building his new home-help and cleaning business.
During the second national lockdown in 2020, Charlie briefly considered setting up his own hot tub servicing business. However, he soon realised that he knew very little about how to start and run a business. At the same time, he heard that Extra Help was looking for someone to cover North and Mid Devon and instantly knew this was something he’d love to do.
“It’s having the backing and support that comes with a franchise that appealed to me,” he says, “Just having someone to ask where I’m going wrong, what’s the best way of doing this etc. makes all the difference,” he says.
Having lived in North Devon for twenty years, his strong ties with the area mean that Charlie is, fortunately, extremely well connected. This has enabled him to get his home-help and cleaning business off the ground extremely quickly.
He says: “I got on Facebook as soon as I’d signed up and shared details of my new home-help and cleaning business. Almost straight away, I started to get enquiries. One of my mum’s friends messaged me saying. “I know a lady who needs you!” Also, a friend of mine, who works with disabled people, has too much on at the moment and asked if I’d be interested in her passing some clients my way. It just proves how essential reputation and word-of-mouth is in this industry.”
Since receiving face-to-face training with Extra Help’s Head Office team, which he describes as “one of the best programmes he’s ever seen”, Charlie’s business is already booming – he recently managed to sign up seven clients in one day! In his first week, he made contact with two social services departments at a local community hospital and has already received one referral from them. He has also joined a community services website called Pinpoint, which he hopes will be a valuable source of leads.
As Charlie currently doesn’t live in North Devon, his plan is to ‘bundle’ days to ensure he can interview local home-helpers and visit as many clients as possible whilst in the area. He says that having his parents in the area helps as he can stay with them if he needs to be there for several days.
Charlie is offering the full range of Extra Help’s home-help and domestic cleaning services to the residents of North and Mid Devon, including:
- Deep cleans and end of tenancy cleans
- De-cluttering of homes and general domestic tasks, such as cleaning, laundry and ironing
- Companionship for the elderly and people who are living alone
- Transport to doctor’s, hospital, hairdressers and social outings
- Shopping services
- Simple DIY and household maintenance tasks
- Dog walking
He intends to add hot tub cleaning and servicing to his service portfolio in the future.
Like most of our franchisees, Charlie is a Dementia Friend, meaning he has learnt about the condition and how he and his team can provide support to those living with it. He is also working with several clients who have mental health conditions, such as autism, and is gaining valuable experience in this area.
To find out more about how Charlie and his team can help you with day-to-day tasks, visit https://www.extra-help.co.uk/local_offices/north-mid-devon/ or call 07761 338496.
Extra Help is always looking for kind and caring franchisees to join our growing family. Could you be our next franchisee? Visit our website for more information.
Until next time,