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Description: With Driving Miss Daisy you can run your own transportation business in your local area, catering to the elderly, children & those with disabilities. Opportunities: In the UK. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Investment: £15,000. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes.

A Business with a Driving Need

Having returned from living in Australia in 2010 to look after her terminally ill mother, Melanie Turner experienced the need for the Driving Miss Daisy service first-hand and jumped at the chance to run the business when Paul Nuth, Business Development Director, contacted her about the opportunity.

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Melanie has been part of the Driving Miss Daisy network since September 2014. She is the Regional Developer in Wiltshire and Dorset and will be offering franchisees the chance to run their own Driving Miss Daisy business. Melanie provides support to franchisees alongside running her own franchise, providing her with the experience to offer up-to-date and specific advice when it is needed. 

For Melanie’s mum, Driving Miss Daisy tapped into a much-needed service in her own community. According to Melanie, her mum encouraged her to begin the business: “In January 2014, Paul came to see us to tell us about Driving Miss Daisy and my mum said that it was just what our community needed. She would have really valued the service and having someone there to listen and take in the information for her at doctor’s appointments. It was my mum that really pushed me to become part of Driving Miss Daisy - she even filled out the application form for me." 

According to Age UK, there are currently 11 million people aged 65 or over in the UK and 3 million aged 80 or over. By 2030, the number of people aged 60 or over is projected to pass the 20 million mark. Not only are our communities rapidly aging, the physically and cognitively challenged are also facing more isolation than ever before. Driving Miss Daisy sets out to empower the least mobile of society to live more independent lives and provide a social life for those who live alone.

“I already had experience in the practical side of things including manual handling because I was my mum’s main carer when she was ill," says Melanie. "Driving Miss Daisy is all about making a difference in the community, taking someone to an appointment, making their day easier and more streamlined – it really makes you feel good. You feel like you’ve made a difference and that was the biggest draw for me.”

For Melanie, running a franchise gives her the freedom and independence she craves: “Running my own franchise will make me more independent financially and I won’t have to rely on other people for money. I want to stand on my own two feet and get there under my own steam. Originally, setting up my own business terrified me. I’ve never been in business for myself before and, as the first to go through training in the UK, we all had to learn the processes together! But I know it now and that will help me to support and train the franchisees in my area.” 

Melanie's enthusiasm for Driving Miss Daisy means she is invested in giving support to other franchisees and encouraging them in heir efforts. she says: "I love the concept of Driving Miss Daisy and I’m really fired up about it. We need to get the brand name out there in the UK because the business is so much more than people think it is. I want to keep taking on more franchisees in Dorset and keep growing my business. I will be supporting franchisees and I’m really looking forward to it! Working in the business myself will give me the experience and knowledge I need to provide comprehensive support and advice to each and every franchisee.”

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