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adult helping senior in hospital

Helping Hands is a small, local business created and run by mother of two, Katie Haslam. Derby born and bred, Katie now lives with her family in Stanley Village and has successfully established and grown her home help business over the last few years. Passionate about helping those in her local community and across Derby, Katie has a dedicated team working with her to provide much-needed aid and services to a wide range of customers across the city.

From helping with the shopping and cleaning, to providing company and security for more elderly clients, Helping Hands is fast becoming a household name with glowing testaments and has recently been awarded the recognition of being recommended by Age UK.

We all have busy, hectic lives, balancing work, family, personal life and commitments and sometimes it just makes sense to call on some Helping Hands to take the stress out and the load off!


Derby Mums sat down with Katie to find out where the inspiration came from for Helping Hands, and how she juggles the everyday commitments of family life with running her own business.


More about me:

Family: myself, my husband, my son, who’s nearly 9 and my daughter who’s 4 and 1/2

Top tip for something to do with the family for free or nearly nothing: I like going to the stepping stones at Dovedale or one of the local parks- Shipley, Elvaston, Markeaton. We also like BlueBells Dairy and Farm. If it’s raining, we tend to go to the library. Not very good with free rainy ideas, so always open to suggestions!

Best way to relax once the kids are in bed:  We relax mainly by watching films or some comedy on tv.

Guilty pleasure: has to be wine!

Mantra for life: it’s a simple one but I do like to live by it; Treat others the way you want to be treated.

helping hands

Firstly, tell us about Helping Hands – What is your background, and how, when and where did it all start?

My back ground is retail, mainly in a top chemist, so I have lots of experience of caring for customers. In fact it was the bit I liked about the job, chatting to the customers. One old lady used to come in and chat to me for about 20 minutes once a week. She didn’t want to buy anything, she was just lonely and she would often bring me a cob for my lunch. Bless her. When I returned to the chemist after having my children, all the personal touches had been removed from the job. We were told to serve people quickly and get them in and out the shop as quickly as possible. It was all about meeting targets and I really didn’t like it. I also didn’t like working on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, when I wanted to be with my family. I had thought of Helping Hands a few years earlier but it wasn’t the right time, and if I’m honest I was a bit nervous about starting my own business. But money was tight so I had to get a job and it pushed me to start Helping Hands in 2013.


How did the idea for Helping Hands come about?
There are lots of services offering cleaning, ironing etc around Derby – what gave you the spark to create your own business?

The idea for Helping Hands was really about me just wanting to be helpful. I had always spoken to my husband about wanting to see if the lady at the bottom of our street was OK or if she needed any help, but said I couldn’t just knock on her door! If I’m in a supermarket and I see someone struggling, I will ask then if they want help – I don’t suppose I’m the only person who does this. So that was the idea really. I had no experience in running my own business but luckily my husband had some experience and is also a graphic designer, so he designed and printed some flyers and an advert for me. I registered the business, and away we went!

We are a small, locally-run business and I have known the people who work for me for a long time. That gives me great confidence that they are the right sort of people for our business – reliable, trustworthy, caring, hardworking and compassionate.


What’s your advice for fellow ‘mumpreneurs’ who are starting, or thinking about starting their own business? Any mistakes you’ve made (that you’ll admit to!) or top tips?

Advice if you’re thinking of starting your own business would be – just to go for it! Especially if there is not much of a financial outlay, as this reduces the ‘risk’. Being a mum, the best thing is to be able to set your own hours and you can be there for your kids when they need you to be.

Mistakes? – When I first started I wasn’t charging enough. I had a customer who lived quite far away and with my rates and the travel and petrol it was bad business. It takes a while to learn these things that you just hadn’t thought about previously!

What makes you successful at what you do?

I’m not sure what makes Helping Hands successful. I like to think that people just like us. There are three of us working together and we are all nice, honest people. I think the most important quality – it isn’t that your the best cleaner or the quickest shopper, it’s that you show compassion, you’re easy to talk to, that people feel safe around you and are happy to leave you in a room without worrying if everything will still be there when they return. I like to think that people see those qualities in us.

What aspects of your job give you the most joy and satisfaction?

Just knowing I’ve helped, gives me satisfaction. One of my customers was going through a difficult time with her terminally ill husband in hospital and the little things, like some clothes she needed to sort and get rid of, were making her more stressed than it would normally. I don’t usually work Saturdays but I popped round to help her sort the clothes and then dropped her off at the hospital. I could tell it made her feel instantly better, just getting that job done and not having to worry about a taxi.

What have been the hardest aspects of starting your own business? What’s it like to work at Helping Hands?

Believe it or not, it hasn’t been that difficult juggling family life with work – that’s the beauty of working for yourself and setting your own hours and your own holidays!
Its great working for Helping Hands for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned; job satisfaction, knowing you’re really providing a service that people need and being able to have all the special family time.

Tell us a little more about your services, who they’re aimed at and how much they cost.

Helping Hands is a home help service.

Some of the services we offer are; cleaning, shopping, food preparation and cooking meals, plus escorting clients who may have mobility or transport difficulties to places such as the shops or to the doctors. Many older people will get a taxi to and from the shops, due to a lack of other transport or difficulties with their physical mobility, but it makes more sense to let us take you – we can help as much as you’d like us to and it usually works out at about the same cost using a taxi. Plus we offer the security of having someone with you to help if you need us. This can help our clients still maintain a good degree of independence, whilst their friends and family members have the reassurance that they have assistance right by their side.

We aren’t just for older customers – we clean for people who are just too busy! We can also help mums out, although we can’t babysit as we aren’t insured for that or have OFSTED registration , we can help around the house and relieve some of the stress. We do what we can to help! £10 an hour is our typical rate.

What feedback have you received from your customers?

We are hugely proud to now be recommended by Age UK – our details have also been circulated to local GP surgeries, so we’re hoping this will help get word out about us even more.

age ukrecommended

One of my customers who I regularly accompany to the shops, has no family living close to her and although she is very able bodied, she tells me that she takes great comfort in knowing I’m there.

I was so pleased and proud she felt this way and let me know – this is exactly what we want to achieve with Helping Hands.

contact Helping Hands:

0115 808 3175

0781 659 382

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