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DoCare bosses show caring side to scoop top award

The directors of Gloucestershire homecare company DoCare, Steve and Una Mills, are celebrating after being named the UK’s top bosses in the national finals of prestigious care sector awards.

The couple, who set up Stroud-based DoCare 12 years ago, won the Care Employer Award at the finals of the Great British Care Awards, during a ceremony held at Birmingham’s ICC.

Care Employer Award winners have to show their commitment to care and to delivering an excellent service.

"We are truly amazed but also thrilled and delighted," said Steve. "When we set up DoCare in 2004, we ran it from one room in our house. Since then we’ve relocated twice, expanded our geographic footprint eight-fold and taken on new local authority contracts.

"We have to put this success down to our fantastic team, who help to create a real family atmosphere at DoCare and strive to make every day a better day for our clients. This award is really for them."

Steve and Una started DoCare following their experience of trying to source care for Una’s father. When they approached social services it wasn’t available and so, moved by the plight of those waiting for support, Steve took the redundancy he’d been offered by BT and spent six months researching the sector and getting himself retrained.

After a lot of hard work, Steve and Una got the company registered with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (predecessor to the Care Quality Commission) and DoCare was born.

When they started, Steve delivered the care himself and they had just one client. They now have teams covering Bristol, South Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds and West Oxfordshire, contracts with four local authorities and a large proportion of private clients. DoCare employs just over 100 staff and is actively recruiting.

Una added:"We are thrilled with the award, but really this is a reflection of DoCare as a company and the great team we have around us, who all go that extra mile to help our clients."

Also in contention for an award was Kate Townsend, DoCare’s team leader for Cirencester who won the South West regional final of the Homecare Coordinator category. She was pipped to the post on the night.

DoCare is not new to awards. Steve is current holder of the Stroud Life Businessperson of the Year title, DoCare manager Kerry-Ann Lees is a former National Dementia Carer of the Year and several DoCare staff are past winners of South West regional care awards.