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Merry Maids UK becomes official partner in aid of Alzheimer’s Society

Merry Maids have become official partners of Alzheimer’s Society.

We are thrilled to announce that Merry Maids has become an official charity partner in support of Alzheimer’s Society as of 2024.

This blog post has all the details…


What does the partnership mean?

We have named Alzheimer’s Society our charity of the year and have thus pledged to raise £10,000 to go towards their work throughout 2024.

As part of our longstanding commitment as Dementia Friends, last year, we raised over £4000 with our nationwide Forget Me Knot Challenge Campaign.

This year, we’re kicking it up a gear.

As official partners, we’re committed to supporting our staff and customers to have a better cleaning experience by training every Merry Maids cleaner across the UK in professional dementia support.

This makes us the only domestic cleaning company in the UK certified to provide accredited support to the over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK.

The training will also help our maids to be better equipped to support our customers with specific needs and extra support, and our customers to feel ever more strongly that, with Merry Maids, they are in good hands.


What does dementia support mean to Merry Maids customers?

To Merry Maids customers like this woman from Croydon, our support means her father can maintain his independence:

“My Dad is 93 and has got a serious heart condition and dementia,” she says.

“After a long stay in hospital and living with us for four months, he wanted to live independently,”

“He reluctantly accepted help and within a couple of weeks was looking forward to his visits by Merry Maids and the good job of ‘wizard cleaning’ he says they do.”

“They are very caring and have a very soft spot for Dad,” she adds.

“Which makes my life as a carer easier.”

“Dad would never be without his Merry Maids, and they have made a huge difference to his enjoyment of life.”


What does dementia support mean to us?

As long-time supporters of Alzheimer’s Society, this partnership officially recognises Merry Maids UK’s commitment to supporting them and the people we serve living with dementia in our communities.

Vikki Donnachie, Merry Maids Brand Leader, says:

“We are thrilled to be working with Alzheimer’s Society again this year. The ability to offer further training to all our maids provides added support and peace of mind to both our customers and their families who are or have been affected by dementia.”

“At Merry Maids, our high levels of customer service and community engagement are what makes us different, and being able to support both our customers and Alzheimer’s Society is a real privilege.”


Aaliah Chik, Senior Marketing Executive for Merry Maids, adds:

“As many of our customers are facing dementia, to have this opportunity to take what we do for them to the next level by training our maids and further supporting Alzheimer’s Society is so exciting.”

“We have great things planned for this year. I’m looking forward to developing our work to better the people living with dementia in our communities.”


Meg Foxhall, Community Fundraiser of Alzheimer’s Society, says:

“On behalf of Alzheimer’s Society, I would like to thank Merry Maids. We’re so grateful for their support, which allows us to provide help and hope for everyone affected by dementia.”

“Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer,” she adds.

“Too many people face dementia alone. 1 in 3 people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime. We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, Alzheimer’s Society is here for you.”


Discover the value of a cleaner who cares

To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online today.

Merry Maids of Croydon Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Twenty years of Merry Maids of Croydon.

The end of 2023 marked 20 years in business for Merry Maids of Croydon.
Business owner Debbie Walker, a recent BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards finalist, started her business in 2003 after a successful career working in corporate roles.
With a background in Strategic Account Management working with large numbers of suppliers, Debbie became well-versed in working to provide support within her community at the highest level.

This made her well-suited to deliver the exceptional services offered at Merry Maids UK,

providing premium domestic cleaning services, from spring cleaning to end-of-tenancy cleaning, with a smile, professionalism, high-quality training, expertise and safety assurances.


Our mission

At Merry Maids, we deliver a high-value exchange to our clients.

As part of a nationwide franchise organisation, we are locally owned and nationally renowned, providing the quality and assurances of a trusted brand with the knowledge and care of a local professional.

At Merry Maids of Croydon, two decades in operation means twenty years of unparalleled cleaning, community care, and happy customers.
“I started using Merry Maids after I fell over in my home and spent 8 days in hospital. I fractured my pelvis, hip and ankle. The ladies were very sympathetic and compassionate. I have 4 flights of stairs in my home.
They changed the beds, hoovered and made the bathrooms sparkle. I have enjoyed their services for 13 months and the only reason I’m leaving them is because I’m moving up to North Lincolnshire. I would recommend them to anyone [and] would consider them as friends.”

Anniversary Celebrations

To celebrate their anniversary, the team threw a celebration in the office in which all staff received a cupcake from Drizzleanddrips and a note thanking them for their hard work.
Their regular clients also received a thank you card, and clients with cleans on the anniversary received a cupcake!
Receiving a celebratory bunch of flowers from Merry Maids franchisor ServiceMaster, Debbie said:
“We are thrilled that we are commemorating an incredible 20 years of serving the Croydon community.”
“From day one, we’ve been dedicated to delivering exceptional cleaning services with a smile.”
“Our journey has been nothing short of remarkable, and we owe it all to our dedicated team, our loyal clients, and our community who have supported us throughout the years. We can not thank you enough for being a part of our journey.”

Charity Partnership

As part of their anniversary, the team partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust to collect donations from their customers for vulnerable people and families in Croydon.

Essential items like food and toiletries have been pouring from customers to help people in the local community during Christmastime and generated donations with a total value of £1161.89!

Jessica Ritchie from the Reedham Children’s Trust added:

“Once again Merry Maids of Croydon and their wonderful customers have been incredibly kind, donating over £1,100 worth of food to help vulnerable children and their families this Christmas and into the new year.

The cost-of-living crisis affects so many of us, but it is heartening to see that despite this challenge, everyone pulls together to help others in their time of need.

Thank you so very much.”


Get in touch

If you are local to the Croydon area and would benefit from 20 years of professional cleaning expertise, contact Debbie and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online.

Merry Maids of Croydon donates over £1100 worth of items to food drive

Merry Maids of Croydon have completed another successful food drive in collaboration with the Reedham Children’s Trust.

This Christmas, the Merry Maids of Croydon team once again partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust to collect donations from their customers for vulnerable people and families in Croydon.

Essential items like food and toiletries have been pouring from customers to help people in the local community during Christmastime.

The drive, held for the second time following a successful effort last year that inspired the nationwide Forget Me Knot Challenge, has generated donations with a total value of £1161.89!


The Impact

The impact of this scale of donations cannot be overstated.

Last year, the food drive helped support over 100 families in Croydon to have the essentials over Christmas and into the new year.

Like this Mum of three who benefitted from a hamper provided by Merry Maids last year:

“With the cost of the living crisis, I was feeling depressed and turned to a friend for help in finding a charity that could support us. But to my amazement, we received a food hamper and vouchers, an incredible show of support I couldn’t believe. I am beyond grateful for this support, which has helped my children and me.”

This year, the team surpassed the donations from last year, which will go a long way to supporting the (approx.) 27,483 children living in poverty in Croydon.


Thank yous

The Croydon and Reedham Trust teams would like to extend a huge thank you to the people who dug deep to help.

Merry Maids of Croydon Director Debbie Walker, who was recently named a finalist in the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards for her work in the local community, said:

For the second year running, we have been delighted to raise food donations for the Reedham Children’s Trust.

Our clients have been so generous in supporting this initiative and we hope this will make a difference to families in need in the Croydon area this Christmas.

I would like to thank our clients and staff for such a positive response!”

Jessica Ritchie from the Reedham Children’s Trust added:

“Once again Merry Maids of Croydon and their wonderful customers have been incredibly kind, donating over £1,100 worth of food to help vulnerable children and their families this Christmas and into the new year.

The cost-of-living crisis affects so many of us, but it is heartening to see that despite this challenge, everyone pulls together to help others in their time of need.

Thank you so very much.”


Get in touch

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online.

Merry Maids of Croydon Food Drive 2023

Merry Maids of Croydon’s 2023 Food Drive to support the local community.

It’s not long until Christmas.

This means we’re entering what the team at Merry Maids of Croydon likes to call the season of giving back.

And they need their customer’s help.


2022 Food Drive

Last year, business owner Debbie Walker and her team ran a food bank drive with the Reedham Children’s Trust to support families with the cost-of-living crisis.

Families like Maya and her four young children relocated to Croydon after fleeing domestic violence.

Housed in emergency housing, they had only the clothes on their backs. Suddenly reliant on benefits, they struggled to pay for necessities like food.

With their customer’s support, they supplied enough donations to support over 100 families like Maya’s over Christmas.


2023 Food Drive

There are still roughly 27,483 children living in poverty in Croydon.

Disadvantaged by issues like domestic violence, poor mental health, special educational needs, and placement in care, up to 73% need free school meals as a primary source of sustenance.

This year, the team wants to do more.

They want to help our families at home and those further afield to have a happier Christmas.

They are running another drive and are asking their customers for support with small donations to make a huge difference for families going without essentials this Christmas.

Like this Mum of three who benefitted from a hamper provided by Merry Maids last year:

“With the cost of the living crisis, I was feeling depressed and turned to a friend for help in finding a charity that could support us. But to my amazement, we received a food hamper and vouchers, an incredible show of support I couldn’t believe. I am beyond grateful for this support, which has helped my children and me.”

From the 15th-30th of November, the team are collecting items for vulnerable families selected from six local schools and families in emergency accommodation across the UK.


Items to Donate

The Reedham Trust has relayed a list of needed items.

It currently includes:

  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Pasta Sauce/Pasta
  • Tinned Meals
  • UHT Milk
  • Rice/ Cereal
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap Bar
  • Shower Gel
  • Christmas treats
  • Items made with a kettle (not an oven). E.g. cuppa soup

A word from the team

Business owner Debbie Walker said:

“There can be no doubt that we are living in difficult and uncertain times. But we don’t have to face them alone. By working together, we can make a real difference and improve the lives of the people in our communities.

That’s why Merry Maids of Croydon are delighted to be partnering with Reedham Children’s Trust to support people in and around Croydon through a food bank drive.”

Jessica Ritchie, a representative of the Reedham Children’s Trust, says,

“We are delighted that Merry Maids of Croydon and their incredibly kind client base will, once again, be supporting our annual food appeal. Last year, customers donated 1,274 items of non-perishable food items, alongside essential toiletries. This supported hundreds of local families not only over Christmas but across the winter months, too. We are so grateful for their continued support this year.”


Learn the value of a cleaner that cares

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Merry Maids Croydon attends BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards

Merry Maids of Croydon’s Debbie Walker achieved finalist status in the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

The results are in for the prestigious BFA HSBC Great British Franchise Awards, held by the British Franchise Association at the end of their annual conference to recognise the best of British franchising, and were attended by some of our head office team and franchisees.

We are thrilled that we had a finalist, Debbie Walker from Merry Maids of Croydon, who was up for the Community Focus Award.

Community Focus

We’d like to congratulate Diljit Brar from Costa Coffee, who won the Community Focus Award.

The ServiceMaster team and Merry Maids UK network are incredibly proud of Debbie for beating out countless applicants to make it this far.

To be a finalist in such a competitive sector is no small feat and is a testament to her hard work, dedication and commitment to her brand and community. What she has achieved as a finalist is no small thing.

And Debbie has indeed achieved some impressive feats.

In the past year, she has taken on a Ukrainian refugee to enable her to stay in the UK, donated enough material during a food bank drive to feed multiple vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living over and beyond the Christmas period, and been paramount in the development of our nationwide Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge, which raised over £4000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

Kind words

Commenting on the awards, Debbie said:

“I was absolutely delighted to be alongside some other great franchisees as a finalist for the Community Focus award.

We work hard every day to make our business count in the local community and give back to the people who we serve, so this recognition means a great deal to us.

Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive of the BFA, said:

“Our huge congratulations to all the winners tonight. We had some fantastic entries this year and these winners really stood out from the crowd. We would like to thank them for being such great ambassadors of the BFA and for representing the very best in UK franchising.”

Judge, awards host and UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking at sponsors HSBC Bank Gillian Morris said:

“The diversity of franchising on display at tonight’s awards ceremony – across so many brands and sectors – demonstrates the strength and reach of the industry.  Choosing a winner is never easy and I’d like to join Pip in thanking everyone who entered and sending our warm congratulations to all the winners on these very well-deserved awards.”

Need a new cleaner?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Q&A with Merry Maids Multi Award-Winner Debbie Walker

We sat down with multi-award-winning franchisee Debbie Walker of Merry Maids of Croydon to discuss the value of a cleaner who cares.

During this year’s Merry Maids awards ceremony, we recognised many of our franchisees for their success and hard work.

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, who is currently a finalist in the prestigious HSBC BFA British Franchise Awards, picked up a whopping three awards in the A Great Place to Invest, Customer Service, and Great Place to Work categories.

I sat down with Debbie following her win(s) to discuss her formula for success and how she feels about having built a thriving Merry Maids franchise in this, her 20th year in business.

How does it feel to be a multi-award-winning Merry Maids Franchise?

“[I’m] so, so proud. Which is what I said to my team when we celebrated the day after.”

“I’m so proud of the team and of the business. Somewhat overwhelmed that we’d won three. A hat trick can’t be bad, can it?”

How did you celebrate with your team?

“I got the team together the next day and told them about what we’d been entered for, what the categories were and what we’d won, and explained to them how important that was and how very much they, as a team, helped to gain those awards.”

“And there was spontaneous applause from the team, [which was] rather lovely. “I was quite choked when talking to them about it. They were delighted. I think it’s that: ‘We’ve done that!’ It’s a real feel-good factor.”

“I think it’s also easy to forget that your staff are fundamental to what you do, so to me, they needed to be part of the celebration and recognised for their achievement. We bought all the staff a celebratory bottle of wine and an individual card.”

“What was also lovely was Nicky Morris at Merry Maids of Fylde and Blackpool sent us a beautiful big box of chocolates, which the staff are enjoying.”

In your view, what has been the basis of the success that you’ve had recently?

“An awful lot of hard work, not just on my part, but on the whole team.”

“We have 28 staff focused on doing their best work.”

“I also very much see that we have a wider team. People like our accountant, Wirehouse, whom we use for our health and safety, yourselves at ServiceMaster and the marketing team and brand manager Vikki, who have all been instrumental in giving a lot of support to the business and enabled us to keep fresh and constant.”

“I think it’s easy when you’ve been in business for nearly 20 years as we have to sit back on your laurels and think: ‘Well, we know how to do it.’”

“There are many things like social media that didn’t exist when we set up the business. But I think you’ve constantly got to embrace new ideas and technology, whatever they may be.”

How do you plan to keep up your momentum of customer service and all of those things going forward?

“I’m reassessing our quality management program to ensure we deliver our best service.”

“We are also looking at our management and administration structure to ensure that we have a broad breadth of knowledge across the team. This will free more time to support our recruits, who need thorough training and encouragement to integrate successfully.”

“We’re looking at an internal restructure to focus on different aspects of the business that I think are important moving forward because I think you have to be a bit like Madonna: You have to keep reinventing yourself.”

“I’ve not got the moves that Madonna’s got, though…”

Well, there’s still time.

[Laughs]

What makes Merry Maids of Croydon a great place to invest for your customers?

“Going back to [my] previous career, one role was working within the community with elderly and disabled clients.”

“I took what I learned there about the value of community and community support and brought it into my business.”

“It’s super important because we need to differentiate from other cleaning businesses and find our niche.”

“I think the world has changed for the better as a real value is placed on what companies do within a community. We want to be part of our community and a business with a heart.”

“Hopefully, it means that individuals looking to purchase from Merry Maids of Croydon appreciate the work ethic and the core values that we have within business and want to align with that.”

In your view, what is the value of customer service?

“Service is paramount, whatever organisation you’re in.”

“It goes from the initial contact, through the sales process to the delivery point where you’ve got staff going out to see the clients.”

“But it doesn’t stop there. Customer service moves on through the customer experience.”

“We still speak to the clients that have been with us for years to ensure we understand and meet their evolving needs.”

What makes Merry Maids of Croydon a great place to work?

“I think it has to be friendly and fun.”

“There is no doubt about it: cleaning is hard work. There must be a great team spirit, and that has to be built from the centre of the business. So, we’re very much about rewarding and recognising our staff for what they do well.”

“Every day, staff receive communication from us, whether they’re in the office or not. And it’s always uplifting. We try very hard never to be negative.”

“To me, both staff and customer experience are about understanding. That’s understanding people’s problems or what may affect them daily.”

“For staff, personal situations impact hugely on work life. If we can help in any way, that’s vital.”

“If we can be a listening ear and they feel that they can come to work, leave their troubles behind them, and have a happy, cohesive environment, that’s super important.”

“It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s a new member of staff who’s only been with us a few weeks or 16 years, we want them to feel they’re valued, and that’s how we try to go about it.”

Want an award-winning and caring cleaning service?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Merry Maids Croydon are finalists in prestigious franchise awards for Community Focus

Croydon-based businesswoman Debbie Walker, owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, has made it to the finals of the prestigious 2023 BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

Founded in 1977, the British Franchise Association (BFA) is a self-regulating governing body, formed to accredit and promote franchise systems that meet strict ethical and business criteria.

Fighting for her position amongst many other entrants, Debbie Walker is a finalist in the ‘Community Focus’ category.

Debbie Walker bought Merry Maids of Croydon in 2003 after working in sales and marketing for several companies.

Merry Maids of Croydon is service-oriented, but their work has a keen care element.

They see many customers regularly, often going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that they are safe, well, and have someone to talk to, allowing the maids to develop strong relationships with many.

As such, Debbie and her team are deeply enmeshed in their local community.

To Merry Maids of Croydon, bettering a customer’s quality of life involves more than just a clean environment.

Even though the business is not a care franchise, per se, Debbie is proud to run a business that cares.

One that she calls a business with a heart.

Debbie’s work within her community

In the past year, she has taken on a Ukrainian refugee to enable her to stay in the UK, donated enough material during a food bank drive to feed multiple vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living over and beyond the Christmas period, and been paramount in the development of the ongoing nationwide Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge, which has raised over £1300 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends in just six weeks.

Kind words

Commenting on the announcement, Debbie said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be alongside some other great franchisees as a finalist for the Community Focus award.

We work hard every day to make our business count in the local community and give back to the people who we serve, so this recognition means a great deal to us.

Everyone here is so excited for the event and really looking forward to celebrating with all the other finalists soon!”

Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive of the BFA, said:

“We would like to offer our enormous congratulations to all this year’s finalists. We received a huge amount of entries, and it was wonderful to read of all the amazing work being done in the UK franchising sector. We applaud our finalists for their enthusiasm, dedication and tenacity and for continuing to uphold the highest standards of the association.”

UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking at sponsors HSBC Bank Gillian Morris said:

“Shortlisting candidates for the HSBC bfa Awards is one of the toughest challenges of the year, once more the candidates were a very high standard, and it was very tough to shortlist just a few entries. I was really impressed at the diversity of entries across brands and sectors, which is a great testament of the strength and reach of the franchise industry. I am looking forward to meeting the finalists and wish them all luck!”

Winners will be announced at a gala black-tie event following the BFA’s annual conference on 9th November 2023.

Need a new cleaner?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

And if you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Merry Maids UK kicks off Forget Me Knot Challenge in aid of dementia charities

Learn more about Merry Maids UK’s Forget Me Knot Challenge for Dementia Friends.

With over 850,000 people in the UK estimated to be living with dementia right now, we have likely all experienced the impact of dementia in some capacity at one time or another, with research suggesting it will affect 1 in 2 people in our lifetimes.

This means that, at Merry Maids UK, we regularly encounter clients and family struggling or living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

As such, we have been a long-time supporter of the charity Dementia Friends (which is a subset of Alzheimer’s Society).

Who are Dementia Friends?

Dementia Friends is an initiative that trains businesses and organisations and the people who work for them in the right ways to interact with people with dementia.

Merry Maids UK began working alongside Dementia Friends in 2014 when a friend of Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids of Croydon, started looking into the charity whilst researching for her PhD on the health of older adults.

Our duty of care to our customers is something we value deeply, so we jumped at the chance to receive training from Dementia Friends to aid our cleans.

Soon, we were becoming dementia friends nationwide.

What is the Forget Me Knot Challenge?

This year, we wanted to do more.

That’s why we have created the Forget Me Knot Challenge.

Alzheimer’s Society is represented by the forget me not, a small blue flower that has long been associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia due to its effects of memory loss.

This is a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK will run, walk, or cycle the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business, tying them together and raising funds for Dementia Friends/ Alzheimer’s Society: creating the Forget Me Knot.

How to support us?

With the challenge now underway, our businesses will be undertaking the task of covering 335 miles each to raise money over the coming months.

If you would like to support us, please visit our Just Giving page to donate online.

Contact Us

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams, across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Join Merry Maids of Croydon as a champion for Croydon’s children

Merry Maids of Croydon is a champion for local children, will you join us?

Did you know? There are over 27,000 children living in poverty in Croydon and up to 73% of children are in need of free school meals in certain areas.

At Merry Maids of Croydon, we are committed to supporting those in need in our local community, particularly children in need.

That’s why we are partners of the local Reedham Children’s Trust, which provides essential support to schools, families and children in and around Croydon.

Just last Christmas, we operated a highly successful food bank drive, donating enough essential items through the local schools to feed over 100 venerable families over the Christmas period.

But it’s not enough to rest on our laurels, families are still struggling.

The cost-of-living crisis is exacerbating the serious issues of the known 27,483 children living in poverty in the borough.

Children are disadvantaged by multiple issues, such as domestic violence, poor mental health, special educational needs and placement in care.

These multiple deprivations can prevent our children from accessing education and building the resilience, skills and confidence they need to fulfil their potential.

They will earn less, have increased health problems and lead shorter lives. Without support now, we risk our children’s futures.

“With the cost of the living crisis, I was feeling depressed and turned to a friend for help in finding a charity that could support us. But to my amazement, we received a food hamper and vouchers, an incredible show of support I couldn’t believe. I am beyond grateful for this support, which has truly helped my children and me.”

~ Mum of 3, Croydon.

Reedham Children’s Trust

Reedham Children’s Trust exists to improve the lives and life outcomes of vulnerable children and young people.

They work in collaboration with charities and voluntary organisations across Croydon to reach more children and young people in need and to enable the best support possible.

In light of the support Merry Maids of Croydon has provided the trust, they have named us a Croydon Children’s Champion.

Could you join us?

Reedham Children’s Trust are running a local campaign to generate awareness of the issues facing Croydon’s vulnerable children, but they need support.

Donating to this campaign can provide vulnerable children and families in the area with the support they so desperately need.

What your help could do

  • £25 could pay for an hour’s support for a child or young person in crisis
  • £50 could provide workshops on cooking, food growing and nature for young people interested in these areas as a career path
  • £100 could buy desperately needed food vouchers for four families

Contact Us

If you’d like to get in touch with Reedham Children’s Trust about the campaign, call 020 8660 1461 or 07837339113 or email events@reedhamchildrenstrust.org.uk.

If you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

And if you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams, across the UK, get in touch with your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Home Safety with Merry Maids of Croydon

How Merry Maids of Croydon and our staff ensure you and your home are kept safe.

At Merry Maids of Croydon, as trusted domestic cleaners, the safety of our customers and their homes is our highest priority.

Recently, our team have been saddened to hear of burglaries and home invasions that have affected their customers.

In these instances, the perpetrators have taken advantage of vulnerable people living alone, posing as service workers like electricians.

They then used that cover to enter people’s homes and steal from them.

All of our customers are dear to us, and the last thing we would want is for someone to violate your trust in us by posing as a cleaner to take advantage of you.

That’s why we have standards and practices that are in place to protect the safety and discretion of the people who trust us in their homes.

Here’s how we work to keep you safe, and what to do if you are concerned you may be being targeted.

Our safety and security practices

Scheduled bookings

At Merry Maids, we work by appointment, so you should always know when our staff are coming.

When you’ve booked with us, you will receive a prompt via text or email on the day of the cleaning to let you know when our maids will be with you.

If someone turns up at a time you don’t expect or without warning, this could be cause for concern.

We are easily identifiable

For your safety, our staff are easily identifiable. Our maids are never without their Merry Maids branded uniforms, so you know who we are.

Furthermore, they also carry ID badges on their person at all times, so that if you don’t recognise your cleaner – or are booking us for a one-off – you can verify our maids’ identities.

Our maids will also have the equipment we use to clean your home to the best possible standard. If someone comes to your door without these items, this may be a reason to be suspicious.

Should your doubts be raised by any of the above – or something else entirely – please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call your local business.

We take our duty of care to our customers very seriously. Nor do we take the significance of you trusting us in your home lightly.

Staff safety standards

At Merry Maids of Croydon, we work with experienced professionals you can trust so you know your home is in safe hands.

We also carry out free, no-obligation quotations for your home, so you can get to know our business owner, Debbie, and maids before you decide whether you choose us to clean your home.

If something doesn’t feel right: stay safe and always call us on 020 8663 3268 and our team can verify your cleaning schedule or the maid’s identity.

Merry Maids means safety

At Merry Maids UK, we have over 30 years as leaders in domestic cleaning nationwide. That’s 30 years of expertise, 30 years of happy customers, and 30 years of trust.

To find out more, or to see if Merry Maids of Croydon is the right fit for your home, call today on 020 8663 3268.

And remember: stay safe, take care, and always call.

Merry Maids UK: Home Safety

How Merry Maids UK and our staff ensure you and your home are kept safe.

As nationally trusted domestic cleaners, the safety of our customers and their homes across the UK is our highest priority.

Recently, some of our teams across the country have been saddened to hear of burglaries and home invasions that have affected their customers.

In these instances, the perpetrators have taken advantage of vulnerable people living alone, posing as service workers like electricians.

They then used that cover to enter people’s homes and steal from them.

All of our customers are dear to us, and the last thing we would want is for someone to violate your trust in us by posing as a cleaner to take advantage of you.

That’s why, across all of our franchises, we have standards and practices that are in place to protect the safety and discretion of the people who trust us in their homes.

Here’s how we work to keep you safe, and what to do if you are concerned you may be being targeted.

Our safety and security practices

Scheduled bookings

At Merry Maids, we work by appointment, so you should always know when our staff are coming.

When you’ve booked with us, you will receive a prompt via text or email ahead of the cleaning to let you know when our maids will be with you.

If someone turns up at a time you don’t expect or without warning, this could be cause for concern.

We are easily identifiable

For your safety, our staff are easily identifiable. Our maids are never without their Merry Maids branded uniforms, so you know who we are.

Our maids will also have the equipment we use to clean your home to the best possible standard. If someone comes to your door without these items, this may be a reason to be suspicious.

Should your doubts be raised by any of the above – or something else entirely – please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call your local business.

All of our branches take their duty of care to our customers very seriously. Nor do we take the significance of you trusting us in your home lightly.

Staff safety standards

At Merry Maids UK, we work with experienced professionals you can trust so you know your home is in safe hands.

We also carry out free, no-obligation quotations for your home, so you can get to know our business owners and maids before you decide whether you choose us to clean your home.

If something doesn’t feel right: stay safe and always call. By calling your nearest Merry Maids business, our teams can verify the cleaning schedule or the maid’s identity.

Merry Maids means safety

At Merry Maids UK, we have over 30 years as leaders in domestic cleaning nationwide. That’s 30 years of expertise, 30 years of happy customers, and 30 years of trust.

To find out more, or to see if Merry Maids is the right fit for your home, call today on 0800 021 3072 or find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a free quote.

Or, to book a cleaning online, be it a regular or one-off deep clean, visit our online shop.

And remember: stay safe, take care, and always call.

Amazing results! Merry Maids of Croydon’s Food Drive

Merry Maids of Croydon have just completed a very successful food drive in collaboration with the Reedham Children’s Trust.

It’s been a busy month for Debbie Walker and the Merry Maids of Croydon team.

This Christmas, the Merry Maids of Croydon team partnered with the brilliant Reedham Children’s Trust to collect and match donations from their clients, to go to local schools and families in Croydon.

Items like tinned vegetables, pasta and pasta sauce, tinned meals, UHT milk, cereal, soap, and shower gel have been pouring in or collected from customers since the start of the drive to help people in the local community during Christmastime and the cost-of-living crisis.

As the Reedham Trust puts it:

“The cost-of-living crisis will impact the poorest households the most, many will have to choose between food or heating, and for some families, they won’t have either. By partnering with Merry Maids Croydon, we hope to provide vulnerable families with enough food to see them through the winter months.”

The result

The team have been utterly blown away by the generosity of their customers over the past few weeks. With the help of their client base, Debbie and the team donated enough items to support over 100 vulnerable families in the area.

For many Christmas is just one hurdle, and after it has passed, they still have to support themselves and their families during the still harsh months following. But due to the amount of support, the items will be able to support families after Christmas and into the new year.

 

The first set of donations, packed and ready to go

From the team

Debbie and the Croydon team, as well as the team from Reedham Trust, would like to extend a massive thank you to all of the wonderfully kind people who dug deep to help

families in Croydon this Christmas.

Families like Maya’s:

Maya and her four children – Sarah (10), Emily (8), Sam (4), and Jack, (1) * are relatively new to Croydon, they have been relocated here after fleeing domestic violence.

The family suffered at the hands of the father for many years. He was violent, controlling and emotionally abusive. It was when she realised that her life was at risk and that of her children’s, that Maya finally had the courage to flee.

The family left with only the clothes on their back, nothing else. They are in emergency housing, reliant on benefits for the first time in their lives, and are struggling immensely.

Not only with the trauma but the ability to pay for even the most basic of necessities like food.

*Not their real names.

And schools like St Elphege’s Primary school:

“Thank you for all your support and help.

All everyone would want to see is the smile on others’ faces and to bring one to theirs. With your help, that will happen to everyone.

Your help and support will help those with nothing to have everything.

Thank you.”

– Representative for St Elphege’s Primary

The team at Merry Maids Croydon say they cannot thank their customers enough for their kindness and generosity, and that the response has been humbling and incredibly heart-warming.

Jessica Ritchie from Reedham Trust says that when she went to drop off some of the items at a local school, one of the admin staff hugged her when thanking her. She says that the acts like this are a reminder to even the Reedham Trust that support like this is more impact than can be put into words.

Get in touch

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie, and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

And if you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams, across the UK, get in touch with your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Thank you again to all of the customers who showed their support, and a very Merry Christmas to all.

Merry Maids of Croydon Food Bank Drive

Merry Maids Croydon has partnered with local charity Reedham Children’s trust as part of a food bank collection drive this Christmas.

Christmas is the season of giving, but it’s also a difficult time for many, particularly as the people of the UK face increasing hardships from rising energy bills and the cost of living. That’s why Debbie Walker and the team at Merry Maids Croydon have partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust as part of a drive to support their local food bank.

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids Croydon said she was delighted to be able to work with Reedham Trust to provide support to her community during this time,

“There can be no doubt that we are living in difficult and uncertain times. But we don’t have to face them alone. By working together, we can make a real difference and improve the lives of the people in our communities.”

Who are Reedham Children’s Trust?

Reedham Children’s Trust began as an orphanage in 1844, and since then has grown into a pillar of the community in Croydon, providing support to children and schools in the local area through initiatives like the ‘Croydon Schools Engagement Programme’.

It’s no secret that Christmas is a special time for children in particular. Unfortunately, many children in the UK may miss out on the bare essentials like food and toiletries.

As the Reedham Trust puts it,

“The cost-of-living crisis will impact the poorest households the most, many will have to choose between food or heating, and for some families, they won’t have either. By partnering with Merry Maids Croydon, we hope to provide vulnerable families with enough food to see them through the winter months.”

How Merry Maids Croydon is helping

Beginning today and running until the 30th of November, the team at Merry Maid’s Croydon is asking staff and customers to spread a little extra festive charity by donating:

  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Pasta and Pasta Sauce
  • Tinned Meals
  • UHT Milk
  • Cereal
  • Soap and Shower GelNo photo description available.

Donations will be collected from clients across Croydon in our handy Merry Maids bags and distributed to children and families in need around the Croydon area by the Reedham Trust. Merry Maids Croydon will then also be matching all donations from our clients, so please give as much as you can!

Getting started

 

As you can see, the donations are already pouring in, with many of our customers from Croydon and the surrounding areas already donating what they can since the drive was announced last month on the Merry Maids of Croydon Facebook page.

Get involved

Make sure you’re following the Facebook page to keep up to date with our donations and track what items are needed the most as we get closer to Christmas.

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie, and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268 or emailing croydon@merrymaids.org.uk to see how you can help out.

And if you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams, across the UK, get in touch with your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

Thank you.

Merry Maids of Croydon: Celebrating staff anniversaries

Three maid staff from Merry Maids Croydon have recently celebrated significant work anniversaries.

Milestones are important, especially in the workplace. Being in one place for a long time isn’t always easy. Especially given how much can change in a single year, let alone multiple!

So, it’s no small matter when staff can celebrate significant work anniversaries, like those observed by three of the team from Merry Maids Croydon this year.

Brenda Bond, Kim Robinson, and Maxine Barker have now all been members of the Merry Maids Croydon team for between 10 and 15 years.

To celebrate, business owner Debbie Walker threw a barbecue this summer. And to mark the occasion, we sat down with each of the maids to chat about their experience, and how Merry Maids Croydon has changed over the past decade.

Getting Started

All three women came to Merry Maids wanting a change. Brenda, who has been with the business since 2007, and Maxine, who joined in 2012, saw local adverts and have worked as part of the team ever since.

Maxine knew that she wanted a job that would allow her to be flexible in her work, and Merry Maids has allowed her to have this lifestyle.

Whilst Brenda was completely new to the cleaning industry but thought she would give it a go. 15 years later, she’s still part of the team, whose friendliness she says makes it easy to work well together.

In contrast, Kim had worked for a cleaning company earlier in her working life but didn’t enjoy it. But she knew that she wanted a job after having her children, so she decided to try working for Merry Maids.

15 years later, although she admits that the work has sometimes been difficult, she has no regrets about making that choice and has enjoyed every minute of her time in the role.

The Rewards

Each maid says that they find different aspects of the role rewarding.

“I love the spring cleans and the dirtier they are the better! I love the challenge of making it neat and tidy. I also enjoy them as I like seeing the progress, and what we have done to help for the better,” Kim says.

Brenda says that what keeps her motivated to do her best is getting the reward of a grateful customer thanking her for her hard work. While Maxine says the cleaning, itself, gives her great fulfilment.

She says being able to go into a really dirty house and leave it clean and tidy has remained a high source of satisfaction during her time working as a maid.

The Development

All three women tell us how their roles have developed as they, and the company, have evolved over the years. Notably, both Brenda and Kim say that working as a maid has significantly improved their confidence.

Merry Maids Croydon owner Debbie adds that Kim has greatly improved in this aspect, becoming a confident and highly valued member of the team.

“I think Kim has grown a lot,” Debbie says. “When [she] started, she was probably a little bit shy or didn’t have as much confidence. She’s grown over 15 years and continues to grow [her confidence].”

“[Kim has] developed into a person that I look to all the time because she helps me with the team. She’s very good at understanding people [and] at pointing out when there’s a problem. When we need to do something, she tells me truthfully. It’s a real benefit, to have somebody like Kim that does that.”

The Staff and Clients

Over the years, the business and the staff like Brenda, Kim, and Maxine have had to overcome many obstacles.

As Kim says, “We’ve had a lot of challenges professionally, from COVID-19 to the petrol crisis, to the bad weather, but we have overcome them as a team.”

Maxine seconds this and adds that the safety-oriented nature and setup of the business meant that working throughout COVID-19 after the business was able to safely reopen was made smooth and easy.

Brenda also recalls a time when she and another staff member were stranded in the car for two hours during a snowstorm on the way back to the office from carrying out a quote. But throughout this, as with many challenges, the team have had each other.

Even as the size of the business has grown, with the client base growing from, “Quite small houses,” to “a variety of job sizes,” according to Maxine.

Kim says “It’s the staff that make the company.”

“The clients … are absolutely lovely – they really are, especially the older ones,” she adds. “They make the business [what] it is. The business still has the family feel of when [she] joined with only six to eight staff. It has now over twenty.”

Brenda notes how much she enjoys working with elderly clients and appreciates how the business has evolved to work with vulnerable community members, such as becoming dementia friendly as part of Merry Maids UK’s ongoing work with Dementia Friends this year.

For her, this is part of a wider change she has observed in herself, towards becoming a people person.

“I’ve become good at meeting new people. I also now know how to look after different types of clients,” she says.

The Memorable

Kim also remembers a time when she and some colleagues truly went above and beyond the call of duty. But we’ll let her tell it:

“I was in a team with two other girls, and we had pulled over for a break.”

“There was a car in front,” she says, with what looked to be a couple in it. “We thought they were having an argument. [Then he got out and] started to walk towards us, and we were a little bit nervous.”

Surprisingly, “He then passed his phone to us, which was on a call with the emergency services. His wife was in labour in the back seat of their car!” And yes, believe it or not, “With the guidance of the emergency services, we helped to deliver the baby. It was born in the car.”

Kim also remembers that Debbie then rang the client to explain why the girls were so late, and when they got to the job, he made them a hot drink.

The Service

A lot has changed in the world since Brenda, Kim, and Maxine started working for Merry Maids Croydon. But at Merry Maids, we offer consistency, even in the ever-changing landscape that is the 21st century.

With our trademark regular and domestic cleaning services, we have been able to adapt to support our staff and customers through turbulent times like the COVID-19 pandemic, and have maintained a culture where they are valued and well looked after.

Across our 30+ franchises nationwide, our network employs an ever-growing number of home cleaning specialists. Each of whom is ready and waiting to help you get the time back to do what matters most, and not the cleaning.

Contact Us

Get in touch with your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie, Brenda, Kim, Maxine, and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

Congratulations and special thanks to Brenda Bond, Kim Robinson, and Maxine Barker for all of their hard work over the years!

A big thanks also to Debbie and Anna Walker from Merry Maids Croydon for their help with this blog post.

Merry Maids of Croydon & the menopause

How Debbie Walker from Merry Maids Croydon has been supporting her staff through a new menopause policy.

Successful Mums is a London-based organisation funded by mayor Sadiq Khan that provides support to working mums in the area. Recently, Merry Maids of Croydon has partnered with Successful Mums to develop staff policies and training after business owner Debbie Walker spotted an advert on a local notice board. Since then, Debbie has received support in business management, flexible working, and policy making.

Debbie knew that due to the nature of her staff, it was vital to draft a health policy specifically to support her staff working during menopause and perimenopause. So, with the support of both Successful Mums and Wirehouse Employer Services, Debbie has worked to take account of existing menopause policies already in law and offered a range of bespoke support to her staff. She says the goal when developing was to ensure that work undertaken by her staff is manageable and that any menopause symptoms are not worsened as a result of their work. She also wanted to continue to develop a culture of understanding and openness around menopause so that the women working for Merry Maids Croydon can ask for support and speak confidently about this issue without embarrassment, all whilst treating them with dignity and respect.

As the no-nonsense named “The Menopause Charity” highlights, “Your experience of menopause is unique to you, which is the main reason why there’s so much confusion about symptoms and treatment.” This means that providing adequate legislation and policy around it can be tricky. That’s why support from organisations like Successful Mums can be vital for businesses like Merry Maids Croydon in helping do right by their staff. As a result, of the varying experiences of menopause, the Croydon policy treats staff on a case-by-case basis whilst providing in a range of areas.

The new menopause policy provides

  • Flexible work arrangements such as adjustments to working hours
  • Hybrid working patterns
  • Adjustments to workplace procedures and processes
  • Prohibiting the need for extensive travel or manual handling
  • Facilities or areas for keeping cool
  • Fresh, cold water is available at all times
  • Providing desk fans if requested
  • Ability to take comfort breaks when needed
  • Ability to attend medical appointments in line with Company procedure
  • One-to-one support from managers
  • Deadline/task reminders from managers if requested which may include extended deadlines
  • Information and signposting to relevant organisations

Note: This list is not exhaustive

Treating workers with respect and dignity also means that this policy does not deny staff their agency, and all workers are still responsible for looking after their health and helping to further foster and maintain an open and caring work environment in which staff support themselves and one another.

Want more info?

Are you looking for more information about menopause at home and work? There are lots of brilliant resources that can help you learn more. Such as, but not limited to:

Looking for work?

If you’re interested in working as a domestic cleaner for Merry Maids Croydon, get in touch with Debbie and the team by calling 020 8663 3268 or emailing croydon@merrymaids.org.uk for more information.

If you’re outside of Croydon, you can find your nearest Merry Maids business to inquire about employment opportunities, or to book a free quote on a range of our bespoke and professional domestic cleaning services today.

 

Merry Maids of Croydon: Supporting Ukrainian Refugees

We sat down with Debbie Walker of Merry Maids Croydon to find out how she’s using her business to support Ukrainian refugees.

When the crisis in Ukraine began in February of this year, people across the UK were moved to try and support the people of Ukraine in any way they could.

Debbie Walker, the owner of Merry Maids Croydon, was no exception.

How it started

Initially, Debbie and her husband wanted to take on refugees to live in their house, but when they realised this wouldn’t be a viable option, Debbie resolved to help out however else she could.

Alongside sending regular aid donations, this was (unexpectedly) through her Merry Maids business.

When, in April, a friend of Debbie’s took in Yuliia, a 25-year-old Ukrainian woman under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, Debbie brought Yuliia on as one of her maids, providing domestic cleaning services to customers in the Croydon area.

Not only did the promise of this work allow Yuliia to get a 3-year work VISA to enable her to stay and work in the UK, but it also meant she could avoid being required to remain in Ukraine to fight.

Supporting Yuliia’s family

However, this does still mean being separated from her family. Like all men in Ukraine, Yuliia’s father and fiancé cannot leave the country.

But Yuliia is still trying to help out at home as best she can and recently raised money via a Crowdfunding campaign for her father, Georgii, who is leading a battalion of 100 men in Ukraine.

“I want to help him and the other men in his regiment,” Yuliia said. “They would really benefit from practical items such as raincoats, camp beds, socks, gloves, torches, and bedding. These items may sound small, but they would make their life much more comfortable, as they live in difficult conditions. I ask you for help. Every penny is important now. Together we can help my country in a difficult time.”

Thankfully, her new community in Croydon and across the UK rallied around her, and she managed to successfully raise just shy of £1200 from 31 sponsors in under a month.

Yuliia’s training

Having worked as a maid for over three months, Yuliia has had a different training programme than the typical Merry Maids cleaner.

In Ukraine, Yuliia’s work experience had been farming to help her family.

When she came to the UK, Yuliia spoke some English but didn’t meet the English proficiency standard to work on staff.

Naturally, the extenuating circumstances meant that allowances were made for Yuliia to train with the help of Debbie’s existing team.

Debbie says that her staff have been a fantastic support to Yuliia through her adjustment process.

The array of nationalities on Debbie’s brilliant team has meant that Yuliia has received help from Debbie’s Russian, Lithuanian, Slovenian, and Bulgarian members, whom all share a degree of fluency in Russian.

This allowed Yuliia to complete her training in a combination of English and a language she was much more familiar with, which has aided her enormously in getting to grips with the more technical elements of the job.

What’s next?

Debbie, having been to a recruitment fair for Ukrainian refugees in the last month, says that the biggest hurdle is not only the shell shock that many of the new arrivals are still suffering from but also the language barrier, which makes it even harder for them to find work so soon after entering the country.

However, Yuliia now works as a maid three days a week alongside English language lessons the other two days, intending to become fluent enough to help train future Ukrainian refugees in the area who may wish to join the business.

Debbie says she has been warmed to see the support offered to Yuliia by her local community, not only by her staff but her customers.

Many of the latter, she says, can remember the Second World War and have memories of similar times themselves.

And whilst many businesses are struggling with recruitment in the wake of COVID-19, Debbie says that it is nice to see that despite the horrible circumstances, we can find ways of supporting each other.

Want to show your support for Ukrainian refugees?

If you would like to support refugees like Yuliia, LRS provides resources to help Ukrainian and other asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees worldwide. To learn more, visit their website or call their action line on 410-983-4000.

And if you would like to help out by booking a clean from Yuliia and the rest of the Merry Maids Croydon team, give them a call on 020 8663 3268 or find your nearest Merry Maids business for a free quote on a range of domestic cleaning services.