Colleen Gruenwald – Managing Director
I have worked in roles supporting people most of my life. I began studying Hotel and Catering Management In Dundee, Scotland. After graduation, to expand on my catering career, one of my roles was in an old manor house that had been donated to the local NHS trust. The house was used for many things including a home for the elderly. I really enjoyed my interaction with the residents but it would be many years before I realised how much I loved helping older people.
In the mid-1990’s I met my husband Jim, Jim is from the USA, with his job we travelled overseas and moved around a lot. This was a challenging time for me with my career, I continued to work in catering, but I also took employment in retail. In 1996 my Dad became very unwell, and we returned back to the UK to be closer to my family. We also became parents during this time. I took a part-time office-based job which turned into a career as an administrator which then progressed to more senior roles.
Once back in the UK I supported my Mum with my Dad’s care where I could. Dad developed vascular dementia which increased his need for care. Seeing the lack of support for my Dad and Mum, made me feel the need to pay it forward. In 2018 I started working in Health Care delivering care in the community. It was during this time that my passion to support people grew, I started thinking, how could I do this better and ensure caregivers and clients were given a quality service? I felt that I could provide them both with a better level of service than I had seen in my short time in Home Care.
I started looking for an established care business to invest, and while thinking of a name for a new business. I came across Visiting Angels. The name appealed to me instantly. While researching the company I found they were looking for someone to start a franchise in Harrogate. Their ethos resonated with all of my passions and I knew I had to approach them. In Harrogate I will be taking on the role of Managing Director and as Registered Manager. I am looking forward to the challenges this will bring, while delivering the best care possible in our community.