Mark and David’s New Start

January 21st 2014

David Hatch worked in the cleaning sector for over 10 years until he was made redundant; his friend Mark Blackburn was also unemployed and spent 18 months on DWP’s Work Programme

Both David and Mark were unhappy with the situation they found themselves in and came up with the idea of using David’s cleaning sector experience and contacts to start their own cleaning partnership.

David and Mark were advised by a family friend to contact Five Lamps and after attending the introductory ‘Is It For Me?’ workshop they made an appointment with Carol Sanderson, one of Five Lamps’ Enterprise Coaches. Carol’s role was to provide support and guidance to help David and Mark develop the skills they would need to run a successful partnership. To improve their understanding of business David and Mark also enrolled on the Five Lamps ‘We Mean Business’ workshop programme, which they successfully completed.

The main challenge for David and Mark was to find the money to buy a van and equipment. With the help of Carol, David and Mark completed a strong business plan and used it to raise the funds they needed. DWP provided a grant from their Flexible Support Fund and Deborah Shanley, Five Lamps’ Start Up Loan Fund Manager, recommended investment at a loan panel meeting.

The panel decided to invest and David and Mark were able to form a partnership and start trading as ‘Julies 24 Hr Cleaning Services’

The partnership, named after Marks sister and David’s Fiancé Julie has gone from strength to strength. They said

“When we had the idea for our business we were not sure we could make it happen until we contacted Five Lamps. We then met Carol who helped us immensely with our business idea. She enrolled us on money and customer care courses which gave us the confidence to pursue our idea and put our words into action. Now we have come a long way since we had the idea back in August 2013 when it was only a dream. We now have a work van, all of our equipment, a strong customer portfolio and work ethic. We really want to thank Carol, Deborah, Lesley Matthews and the rest of the team at Five Lamps. We would not be where we are today without their help and support”