Meet our dedicated Business Development Manager Darren Housden in an in-depth interview covering love, life and of course home care services in Sussex.
1) How long have you been with Comfort Keepers?
I started with Comfort Keepers on July 1st 2012 and I joined from Allied Healthcare where I was a Regional Business Development Manager for 6 years. When I joined Comfort Keepers there was no operating business – the idea was still conceptual and my initial months were spent working here in the UK, with colleagues in Paris and colleagues in the US putting together the model, the offer and the pricing structure before opening our business in November that year. Four years later we are looking after 116 people per week and we employ 35 Care Workers. We are becoming more and more known in and around the Worthing area where we help dozens of private paying customers and we have a very strong relationship with both Worthing and St Richards Hospitals where we provide care and support to Older People which in turn enables them to return home.
2) What attracted you to the care sector?
Both my Nan and my Mum worked in the care sector for a number of years – they were hands-on Care Workers and when my Nan retired, at least 5 of her regulars were younger than she was!! I came into the sector more by accident when working with my wife 17 years ago where we provided catering staff initially and then Care Workers into Residential Care Homes in the area we live. I quickly saw the difference kind and compassionate care made to people’s lives and learned very quickly how big the UK care sector was and the huge opportunities working within the sector would bring…17 years later I am still touched by how much of a difference we make and how committed our Care Workers are.
3) Did you have previous experience as a Business Development Manager?
Yes, both from a self-employed point of view and from a corporate point of view and my current role draws on my experience of both of these area where I have to be focussed, resourceful, energetic, creative and passionate whilst working within a corporate framework. My past experience has stood me in very good stead and has enabled me to help to develop our UK business the way we have over the last four years.
4) What do you like about your work?
I like the fact I am building a sustainable business model which will be replicated on a much greater scale across the UK. It’s a great position to be in when starting with nothing as we have been able to build the culture and do things the right way which in turn means our clients receive the highest quality of service and that our Care Workers love working for the company. My role is hugely varied, whether it’s attending corporate functions or whether it’s queuing in the local bank to pay some money in – no job is ever too large or too little. Ultimately it’s a privilege to be able to build and deliver a service which very much improves and enhances the lives of those we both look after and employ.
5) What do you like about CK?
I really like the ethics Sodexo have and the Group’s determination to improve the quality of life for clients and employees. The people I work with, both here locally in Worthing, across the UK and from other international countries are all outstanding individuals who all share a common goal – to help people. I very much like that we are building a brand and we are developing something very special, something which doesn’t currently exist within the UK home care sector and I am very excited about the future as we grow and look after more people and become the employer of choice within the UK Care sector.