Caroline Balmer, joint owner and MD of Caremark in Worcester & Malvern Hills was crowned this year’s ‘Inspirational Achiever of the Year’ by Pitman Training, beating hundreds of other entrants from across the globe for the prestigious award.

Caroline was selected as one of three finalists from scores of international entries in recognition of her achievements in 2016, notably the setting up of a dementia home care service here in Worcester.

Last year saw 36-year-old Caroline successfully launch and grow her new dementia-focussed care business, study for and complete her degree studies in Dementia, as well as train for and run a 10k marathon to raise money for a local charity!

Judge, Jennifer Corcoran, commented: “Caroline is the definition of a true Super Achiever! Over the course of a year she has completed a degree and set up a thriving business which is serving a real need in her community. Not only is she helping to provide care and companionship to people in their own homes but she is also providing employment to a team of 35 people. This is one lady who truly deserves to toot her own horn!”

Before launching Caremark, Caroline worked in the care industry for more than 15 years and witnessed first-hand how dementia can affect a family, as her grandmother developed Alzheimer’s disease in later life. Through the devastating experience, Caroline was driven to start her own business to provide the high level of service she feels those in need deserve.

Commenting about her achievements Caroline said: “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished in one year of business. I’ve literally gone from picking up the keys to an empty office, to becoming a blossoming business in just 12 months, as well as completing my degree. It’s been hard work but it’s worth it when you see the difference you’re making in the community.

“I’ve built a diverse team of truly wonderful people who go out every day and provide care, support and companionship to people in their own homes. It’s something I’m so passionate about and it’s both exciting and rewarding to watch it grow and change people’s lives.”

Another judge and fellow entrepreneur, Claire Barratt, chose Caroline as one of her winners and said: “Without doubt Caroline is truly an Inspirational Achiever of the Year – her determination to continue to achieve is outstanding.”

The win comes on the back of an earlier success in June when Caroline and her team at Worcester & Malvern Hills were presented with ‘The Rising Star’ award by Caremark Limited, the franchisor, at their annual corporate conference in recognition of her outstanding performance throughout 2016.

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About Caremark

Caremark is the UK's largest privately owned care franchise with a turnover of £65m. We are a leading home care provider with over 100 offices in the UK and Ireland. We support over 6000 customers and employ more than 5400 carers who deliver on average, over 96,000 hours of care, every single week, across the UK.

Established in 2005, we are proud to be a wholly UK owned and operated home care franchise which has an established and successful UK based network. 43% of Caremark franchisees are female, which is almost double the national franchising average. It's a figure we are really proud of. Not only that, but a large proportion of our management team are women, including our Managing Director, Finance Director, National Operations Manager and National Training Manager.

The UK has an ageing population which is estimated to grow some 58% in the next 20 years. As the demand for more complex and highly professional levels of care increases, we continue to provide a quality service to those in need of help and support. There is also a developing awareness that care at home can benefit not only those individuals in need but the hospitals and other organisations that are also responsible for looking after them.