Local businessman, Hammad Cheema, has just launched a new at-home care company. Visiting Angels will tackle rising loneliness in the elderly and meet the growing need for quality care that is prevalent in the region. Whilst many businesses have no choice but to close in the wake of COVID-19, Hammad says that was more important than ever to push ahead with the launch of Visiting Angels. Alongside his Operations Manager, Grace Peters, Hammad plans to put the compassionate duo’s combined knowledge and experience to good use in the community.
“Of course, we could have delayed the business launch with everything that’s happening but now, more than ever, people need support, people need care and people need jobs,” says Hammad, who has lived in West London for the last eight years.
“I’m determined to make a difference to people’s lives at this most difficult time. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last two decades in business, it’s that people are what matters, regardless of their age. We already care for some of the youngest through our childcare business and, now I want to support the elderly and vulnerable in our community with a personal and genuinely caring service.”
On the 19 March, Hammad, Grace, and their newly appointed Care Manager, Magdalena Zieba, received registration from the Care Quality Commission. Based at Boundary House Business Centre in Boston Manor, Visiting Angels is now on the hunt for more local care workers to satisfy the growing demand for its service. Hammad has already recruited five carers into the team but hopes to bring 40 jobs to the local community within the next 12 months.
“My ethos is to always do things the right way and I think, in the elderly care industry, that means doing things a little differently,” says Hammad.
“All too often, care staff are paid minimum wage, given very little support and just generally not treated very well. This has an impact on the quality of the care they deliver and their attitudes towards work. I have an elderly parent myself, so I know how important it is to be able to have confidence that person coming into your home is genuinely caring, reliable and trustworthy. That’s always going to be the litmus test – if I’d be happy for someone to look after my own mother, then I’m happy for them to look after our clients.
To combat the issue, Hammad’s new business, Visiting Angels, is committed to a ‘carer-centric’ approach. Put simply, this means treating carers with the utmost respect, valuing them for their commitment and rewarding them well financially for the support that they provide to clients.
Amidst the ever-evolving coronavirus outbreak, Visiting Angels hopes to alleviate pressure on local hospitals by helping to get people back into their homes, freeing up beds for virus patients. Classified as Critical Workers, Hammad’s team will be working tirelessly in the community to provide care and companionship to the elderly and vulnerable who are self-isolating as well as those whose families can no longer support them due to their own isolation or illness.
“Our priority during this time will be the health and safety of our care workers and our clients,” says Hammad.
“But this is vital work and people’s lives depend on businesses like ours up and down the country. I’m so proud to be able to step into the breach and fight this alongside those already doing such an incredible, selfless job.”
Visiting Angels West London will serve the families of West and South-West boroughs, including Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Wimbledon, Richmond upon Thames, Putney, Merton and Wandsworth. For more information, visit www.visiting-angels.co.uk/westlondon or call Hammad on 020 3143 8878.