Wigan-born care company boss speaks of firm's ambitious expansion
Alcedo Care Group is looking to employ 200 people in Wigan as it looks to increase its borough client base from around 35 to around 200.
The company started operations in Wigan and St Helens around 18 months ago and is now splitting the offices and attempting to recreate its success on the other side of Billinge Hill in the borough.
The local expansion drive is bringing managing director Andy Boardman full circle as he was brought up on Lessingham Avenue and lived near Whitley High School for a time.
He and his wife Jo set up the family-run business in March 2017 after some bad experiences of home care left them feeling a need to offer families of elderly and vulnerable people a better service.
Mr Boardman said: “I’m proud to be from Wigan and it’s incredibly good to be able to grow the business in Wigan. It’s just nice to be home.
“We want to grow Wigan in the same way we have grown St Helens. We’re really keen to expand the Wigan operations. We’ve got a real passion for the town and Wigan people make fantastic carers.
“There are a whole range of requirements in Wigan, like everywhere else in the country.
“There is a great demand for high-quality home care provision in the borough.”
Mr Boardman says Alcedo is looking to employ around 10 carers a month as it looks to become a bigger player in the sector.
Currently the firm provides around 150,000 hours of care a year in St Helens compared to around 30,000 in Wigan and wants to level up those statistics.
It has around 28 carers in Wigan but wants to be employing a workforce of around 130 people like it does in the borough’s neighbouring and rival local authority.
Alcedo looks after people of all ages, ranging from children with care needs to people living with brain injuries to elderly people who need assistance to continue living at home or those who are suffering from dementia.
Mr Boardman says demand is going up for home care all the time and the country’s demographics suggest this process is not going to stop any time soon.
He said: “We’ve got a solid growth pattern in the number of people over 65.
““By 2024 we will have more 65-year-olds than 15-year-olds in the country. There’s a massive growth in that age group and on top of the other services we offer we’ve got growth in requirements for dementia care and palliative care in Wigan borough.
“In St Helens we’ve got about 200 customers and in Wigan we’ve got about 35. There’s so much room for growth.”
Mr Boardman says his company is putting down deeper roots in his home borough, working on a partnership with Joining Jack and looking at a sponsorship package for Wigan Warriors.
The firm is also in the process of moving out of its current premises in Wigan town centre to offices at Beecham Court in Goose Green.
Setting up Alcedo Care Group in 2017 was a big change for Mr Boardman, who had previously worked in the oil and gas industry, while Mrs Boardman’s previous career was in chartered accountancy.
However, he said there were compelling reasons to set up the company and make the move.
He said: “I got fed up of the oil prices going up and down. We used to repair rigs and effectively when the price went down nobody wanted to repair them.
“When oil prices crashed in 2016 I just thought I didn’t want to be involved any more and the international travel was too much.
“We also had some bad experiences of care given to a family member.
“We were looking to get involved in something domestic and something that was a growth area.
“Care is being done badly a lot right now and we want to make a difference.”
Typically a customer will receive between 14 and 21 hours of care from an Alcedo employee each week, with the exact nature of the help being given depending on the individual package.
Mr Boardman is setting ambitious targets for the firm and says he wants the business to be providing 1,000,000 hours of care by the end of this year and to be the largest home care provider in England by 2025.
Wigan is just part of this, with the business planning to recruit 750 people in total across the North West this year. The office at Goose Green which is in the process of starting up is one of five planned for opening in 2021.
The firm is particularly proud of its training, which it says gives around one in 10 applicants the skills they need to be taken on and to begin their career with the firm.
To find out more about the business, visit www.alcedocare.co.uk
If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers