Family firm turns despair to hope with investment into staff wellbeing

Mother and son Roz and Ryan Armitage launched their health recruitment business in Southport in 2008 but the family has been beset by illness and tragedy. Tony McDonough reports

yoga, exercise, wellness
Tezlom will offer regular yoga classes to its staff members

 

A family of Merseyside entrepreneurs are investing to change the ethos of their recruitment business, inspired by their own battles with tragedy and serious illness.

Mother and son Roz and Ryan Armitage launched 247 Professional Health in Southport in 2008, supplying care assistants, qualified nurses and support workers to clients including care homes and hospitals.

While the business has successfully grown with franchises across the UK, the Armitage family themselves have faced significant challenges in their own lives. This has prompted a rebrand of the business to Tezlom and a £50,000 investment to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Tezlom is now introducing a range of mindfulness coaching activities such as regular yoga classes and meditation sessions for its employees in an ongoing effort to encourage better mental health practices at work.

Director Ryan Armitage said: “This has always been a close-knit, family business with myself, my mum Roz, my dad Les and brother Tom working together as company directors. In the past eight years we’ve had a tough time since my dad, Les, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in September 2011, and more recently, he developed Parkinson’s disease.”

And, in the past year, things have significantly changed for the family when in October 2018, they lost Ryan’s brother, Tom, to suicide. Soon after, Les began to receive care, which he continues to receive today, due to his conditioning worsening and developing into Parkinson’s dementia.

“This left my Mum and I in a very dark place and with some big decisions to make at an already difficult time,” added Ryan.

Ryan and Roz made the choice to focus their efforts back into the business that the family had already given so much to and decided to rebrand their offering to represent the legacy left behind by Tom and Les. And so Tezlom was born.

In line with its new-look branding, the recruitment agency’s motto is to find places for people that care across the healthcare sector.  Ryan said: “The events of 2018 were truly devastating for our family.

“At the time, all we wanted to do was run and hide from it all but we knew we had to make good from a devastating period to honour the work already put in by Les and Tom. I looked very closely at our business and what it meant to us and our employees and realised it was our family values that set us apart from others in the industry so decided to work on these pillars to begin our rebrand into Tezlom.

Through these testing times, I’ve learned first-hand just how important mental health maintenance is and so I want to equip our team members to better understand the importance of looking after both themselves and those around them, and hopefully inspire other business leaders to do the same.

“With that in mind, I began to implement various schemes and strategies into the working week to give our staff the opportunity to take some time out, relieve stress and hopefully feel happier all around – it’s our ‘start small’ contribution to hopefully make the world that bit of a better place.”

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