International Women’s Day Spotlight – The Powerful Female Business Owners of Visiting Angels


International Women’s Day Spotlight – The Powerful Female Business Owners of Visiting Angels


Visiting Angels was born in the UK in 2017 and has grown exponentially over the 5 years with more than half of our franchisees being female owned/ part owned and led . Strength, resilience, and intelligence is what runs the business and grows it. The women of Visiting Angels are an embodiment of it. Their innate nature of care is synonymous with the industry that depends and thrives on it and that is what sets them up for success.

On the occasion of International Women’s day, let’s learn a little more about some of our Female owned franchisees – and the women who have inspired them.

Every Woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on” – Serena Williams.

Helen Lofts – Visiting Angels East Staffordshire

Helen Lofts

Why would I wish to have the stress and challenges of running a business that operates 24/7?  Why would I invest my savings to start that business in the middle of a global pandemic? Those really were the two big questions I asked myself before starting on the path of buying and running a home care franchise.

How did I answer those questions in my own mind?  Well, I have never shied away from hard work having previously managed a 24/7 hotel and I was confident of my own ability to build a profitable carer centric business.

The women who nurtured me in my family were all strong, determined individuals who worked hard and looked after, cared for and provided for the family.  That feeling of being cared for and valued now feeds into our family of caregivers, listening to them, helping them to grow and progress by empowering them in their role.

I am so proud of what we are building and how that caring for our team ultimately means that we provide the best care for our clients.

Nicky Sealey – Visiting Angels North Shropshire

When asked the questions which woman has inspired you I think a lot of people will say that this may be their nan, mother, daughter, sister, someone close to them in their family, or maybe even a famous person.  My inspiration into becoming a female Franchisee for Visiting Angels with carer centric values has come from a previous client.

Nicky Sealey & Buddy

When I met her, she was in her late 70’s and had approached me, reluctantly, to help her care for her mother who had just celebrated her 100th birthday and was completely bed bound and needing the help of two carers.  The lady had her own health issues, and it became evident, very quickly, that she regularly neglected herself to care for her mother. We formed a very strong bond, and our relationship grew in trust.  She let me in to her life and her care journey.

I found that she had been a district nurse and spent over 60 years in the profession, often looking after neighbours who were on end-of-life care and doing this in her own time and without help.  She amazed me in her strength and character.  She came from an old school nursing background where things were very different.  She found the introduction of hoists and slings, risk assessments, regulations, and paperwork in caring for her own mother an interference, inconvenient and unnecessary and we had many heated conversations regarding this.  We spent many hours talking of her experiences and the different caring world now.  I saw an elderly lady, but the professional nurse behind this was determined, frustrated, tired and wanted to care for her own mother, her own way, in the end of her life path.

She would tell me stories, sometimes they were funny and sometimes they were sad, and there were often tears, but I would not change them moments – to feel these raw emotions – emotions of a care journey in different times – pushed me to change my own care journey for the better.  This was a huge privilege for me. To be let into someone’s life so closely, at one of the most poignant times, to be considered good enough to support in the final moments of her mother’s life was just a sheer privilege.

As I watched her determination and strength to care for her mother until her final day, I realised that I could change the outcome and could make a difference for carers by understanding their choices and daily struggles and resonating with them.  By being carer centric I can be a better person, a better manager, a better leader and my team can have a better quality of working life which will impact on them having a better-quality home life. That’s when my franchisee journey really began.

The inspiration I received from this lady is second to none and may be something I never come across again.  She really made a difference to me.

Sarah Hamblin – Visiting Angels Northamptonshire

Sarah Hamblin

As a female business owner there is a great deal of juggling to accomplish. Women, historically, are seen as home makers, domestic godesses. Perhaps this is not so prevalent in Western society anymore, but within my own self there is still a desire to be a good Mum, daughter, friend, leader and disciple.

The woman who inspires me the most is my own Mum. Born during the Second World War she lost her own mother shortly following her birth from a blood clot which travelled to her heart after Mum’s birth. Her Father, an entrepreneur, died when she was 4 years old and she was passed from pillar to post until she came to live with her Aunt and Uncle. Her Uncle died when Mum was studying for her A levels and so she left school to take care of her Aunt and the finances.  Mum’s own first experience of giving birth was traumatic. An undiagnosed, complex breech birth led to my sister,  Mandy, being born with severe cerebral palsy. Mum brought up a disabled child, championing relentlessly for support and education for Mandy, as well as my brother and I. She succeeded and Mandy received a good education and is now living in her own home with 24/7 care support. Finally, in her late 30s she realised her dream of becoming a teacher, studying for years whilst looking after us all. In her 80s now she still volunteers at the local community library to ensure it does not close to her community, helps to run a community based cafe and after being approached by her GP now also runs a dementia cafe.

My drive is to be an inspiration to others just as my Mum has shown me. To create a business where kindness, love and care are at the centre of everything we do. To provide care at home for other amazing people, like my Mum, to stay at home and continue to lead rich and full lives, being supported to remain independent.

Kya Safari – Visiting Angels East Nottinghamshire

Kya Safari

Growing up in an environment where male privilege was dominant, my dreams as a female didn’t matter much. It was okay not to aspire to reach the stars so to speak. My mum was the biggest influencer in my life, she was different.

Her mantra “if others can do it why not you” was our spur in the face of challenges. She wanted more for me, and she made sure that I knew my self-worth and taught me how to be tough, resilient and fiercely independent. Her determination and will power in the face of challenges was a force to reckon with. “Believe in yourself, remember with God is sight nothing is impossible.” She believed in the power of prayers and hard work. These words reinforce my resolve in the face of challenges.

I have always been business minded but my drive and passion are highly driven by my mum’s personal story. She went from being a housewife of 14 years to a single mum of 4. A high school graduate she started as a secretary in her 40s, graduated with a BA Honours in Public Administration in her 50s.She rose through the ranks to become the Director/Head of the Hansard Unit of the National Assembly of The Gambia.

Her favourite quote – “if your dreams don’t scare you, you aren’t dreaming big enough” Ellen Sirleaf Johnson former President of Liberia

Heidi Nursey – Visiting Angels Central Lancashire

Heidi Nursey

I watched my mother. Something I didn’t even know I did until I looked back. She was a nurse all her life. But I watched her at home give, love, care for others at every opportunity. She took me with her to deliver Christmas presents to homeless shelters, to hold donation boxes in the town centre, I sat at the dinner table with countless guests who would have otherwise eaten alone that day. She led me, by example, down a path that saw me join the Police Force. I watched her make a difference and I wanted to do the same.

Years later, I am reimagining my career path. I take with me an undeniable example of hard work and a caring nature. A desire, nurtured in me since I was a child, to care for others. A determination that was refined in the fires of the Police Force to help people. A life-long habit of reaching out to others. Now I am walking a path with Visiting Angels. This is me making a difference, just like my mother. What more could I want as a woman in this world? And now I have daughters of my own… watching me

Lannette Manalo Murray – Visiting Angels South Middlesex

Lannette Manalo Murray

Hi, I’m Lannette Manalo Murray – Marketing Director for the South Middlesex office. I am honoured to be part of such a great team. I lead a super hectic lifestyle juggling being a wife to our office MD Andrew,  and mother to two children.  I am the eldest to three sisters myself so growing up in my household was a very female, caring orientated, busy yet fun environment. Caring for others just runs through our veins. Whilst my husband and father-in-law are in charge of the care side of VA, I’m more the corporate brand sidekick to them.

Running a business with my husband and working full time elsewhere requires so much strength and determination. You just cannot give up and have to mentally tell yourself you have to keep going if not for yourself, but for your family that rely on you. My late mother is my inspiration for all things in my life. She sadly lost her battle to cancer at 60 and even before she was diagnosed,  I often wonder how she managed being a wife and a mother to four girls, work full time, home cook meals everyday and always kept our house running like clockwork. My motivation and strength is always thinking if my mother can do this surely ‘SO CAN I’

Lynn James – Visiting Angels North Surrey

Lynn James

“Mum! The washing machine isn’t working…”As I lie on the floor with my head under the sink, I ask (loudly), “why, as the only woman in a house of 4 men, I’m the one solving this problem?”

The answer is simply because I can, and I blame my Mother!

My Mum could literally turn her hand to anything and when I’m asked about my journey into company ownership, I think I’ve simply inherited and absorbed her skills, abilities and resilience as well as an ethic of hard work – she often had 3 jobs on the go as well as running the home and family. We even had my Nana living with us for a spell and my Mum also cared for her. I also went to a school that valued girls and was surrounded by friends who have all gone on to have good careers.

Lynn , her mother & her family at a fundraiser in 2019

My Mum, also a foster carer, was a wonderful role model in caring and hard work, but the many women I’ve met along the way have also inspired me to ‘do care right’. In my 30 year care career, I’ve met countless wives in their 80’s caring for their husbands with dementia and these women desperately needed support, only to find that the care that came just wasn’t right for their situation. This inadequate care sadly often led to a breakdown in the care at home and premature admission into a care home and splitting up of couples who had usually been together for over 60 years!

These amazing resilient women are my inspiration to get care right for everyone we meet. I want families to stay together for as long as they can. I bought my company when I was age 52 and it is a culmination of both positive and negative experiences. It’s never too late……and you’re never too old.

My 82 year old , now partially sighted Mum is currently busy organising a charity fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis at the end of this week for over 200 people, and I’ll be there to help.

Nicola Lintott – Visiting Angels Cambridgeshire

Nicola Lintott

Most of my career has been in the pharmaceutical industry where I was inspired by some great female leaders, the most important advice I was given was to be myself, to be authentic and  be confident in my knowledge and ability. I always remember meeting a new National Sales and Marketing Director who had just joined following maternity leave after having her third child. She was a role model, it made me realise that you didn’t have to choose between a family and career. This gave me the confidence to pursue my career and I later became the only female Business Director in a team of men.

Moving abroad and working in a global role broadened my horizons further and I had the privilege of working with many amazing women who had accomplished so much despite the barriers they faced, they were true to themselves, determined and importantly, supported in their endeavours. For Visiting Angels in Cambridgeshire, the  biggest impact I can make is supporting and developing our Visiting Angels staff to be the best they can be.