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DoCare's born of waiting list

WHEN Steve Mills' father-in-law Gilbert needed homecare he and his wife Una had no idea it would lead to a new business.

When they found there was a waiting list for homecare Steve decided to set up a company to provide the services people wanted.

DoCare Directors

DoCare directors Una and Steve Mills.

Seven years on Stroud-based DoCare is a thriving family firm, employing 85 people with care teams in Dursley, Stroud, Cirencester, Yate, Gloucester and Cheltenham.

"When Gilbert needed help at home we moved him and my mother-in-law Mary to Kemble to be closer to us," said Steve.

"I had no idea how difficult it would be to get him some help. There was literally nothing available and the county council said there was a huge waiting list."

Steve, then working for BT in London, and Una decided to start up their own business, offering care and support.

He said: "I asked the county council if it was possible for me to start a business offering the services they needed. They said 'yes', so I took up the challenge. Six months later I went back to them and said 'remember me'?"

The couple had to get the necessary registration from the care regulator, recruit and train staff and get clients.

Earlier this year, DoCare marked a milestone by providing its 250,000th hour of care. It has made half-a-million visits and supports some 200 people.

Steve is also treasurer of the industry's governing body the United Kingdom Homecare Association.