Case study

Eunice & Yoram Mwale:
Our experience of Help to Grow

Meet Eunice and Yoram Mwale, a dedicated married couple at the helm of Lovehands Care Services. Along with Asled Silungwe, they lead a team committed to providing exceptional specialist care and support at home, to those with complex needs in Derby, Derbyshire and the surrounding areas.

Eunice and Yoram both completed the Help to Grow programme in late 2022 and more than a year later, reflect on how it’s benefitted their business.

Key motivations and benefits

For Eunice, Lovehands started as a passion rather than a business. She loved providing care, often voluntarily, and for years did this informally.

Then in 2019, Eunice, Yoram and Asled decided to establish a formal care business and registered with the Care Quality Commission — the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Eunice became the new firm’s Managing Director, Yoram the Finance Director, and Asled became the Registered Manager.

When Lovehands grew quickly through word of mouth, Eunice recognised she needed support:

“I felt I didn’t have the skills I needed to effectively lead and manage the business,” recalls Eunice. “It was mushrooming, and I didn’t know how to control it. That’s when I came across an advert for the Help to Grow programme on Facebook and thought it looked really useful.”

Eunice and Yoram both decided to take the programme, and now feel much more in control of their growth and their direction.

Yoram and Eunice stand side by side

We are now managing our growth in a controlled, healthy way. We are clear about our vision and take time to ensure our staff understand it too.

Eunice Mwale (pictured, right)
Managing Director, Lovehands Care Services

Yoram adds:

“Before Help to Grow, we had no projection of our future revenue — we were working on historical data. I’m now able to project this, which has helped us a lot in terms of planning and budgeting, and we’ve built up a healthy cash flow to do what we need to do.”

Mentoring: four heads are better than one!

By completing Help to Grow together, Eunice and Yoram were able to discuss modules and collaborate on assignments. They also benefitted from having two mentors — one focused on finance and the other on leadership. This meant there were effectively four heads working on the business!

This mentoring had a big impact, as Eunice explains:

“My mentor helped me grow as a leader and manager, helped me put KPIs in place, and motivated me to work on action plans. In fact, he’s still supporting me now and he is my go-to person. As well as the everyday networking, this was the best part of the programme for me — to have this continuity of help.

Going digital

One of the Help to Grow modules is about digital adoption and for Lovehands, the timing of this was fortuitous. Just as Eunice and Yoram were learning about the benefits of digitisation, new funding was being made available to help health and social care businesses like theirs to switch to digital record keeping.

“This module was especially useful because I could apply what I was learning on the programme to the digitisation of our records,” says Eunice.

“We now have care management software on tablets so our carers can input information in real-time. It means we can be more effective and responsive, improving outcomes for the people we support.”

6 people standing from Lovehands Care Services

Building networks and finding support

Since completing Help to Grow, Eunice has also attended several alumni events for business leaders that have completed the programme. She says she has “loved” these because she has picked up tips from other leaders, found out about training opportunities, and been reminded of the resources available to small businesses.

The University of Derby has become an important source of support for Lovehands Care Services. Asled attended the Smart and Inclusive Leadership programme with the University for two weeks which helped improve her leadership skills. Eunice has also connected with University employees who can help with staff wellbeing, and student placements and recruitment, should she need these services in the future.

Recommending Help to Grow to the care industry

Both Eunice and Yoram now want to encourage others working in the care industry to take Help to Grow.

“In the care industry, we tend to lower ourselves and say ‘oh, we’re just caring’, without realising our value and the economic contribution we make,” reflects Eunice.

“I really want to encourage people in our situation to make this small investment, which will change the way you look at your business. When you have the right principles, tools and mentor, plus other people’s advice, it increases your resilience and ability to do well.”

Yoram adds:

“We hope the University of Derby will keep offering this course. You might not realise the impact this is having on small businesses like ours. It has helped us so much and we know it will help others too.”