An experienced former NHS podiatrist has taken the leap into self-employment with the launch of Grange Road Podiatry in Darlington following help from TEDCO Business Support, Darlington Borough Council and a low-cost business loan from Virgin StartUp.
Jaqueline Glen from Darlington launched the new business to help individuals access first-rate care for their feet with a treatment base and additional retail outlet selling a range of footwear.
Grange Road Podiatry will be a specialist supplier of Cosyfeet and Padders Plus footwear as well as Skechers, the more fashionable range of popular footwear. Cosyfeet and Padders Plus have been particularly chosen for their deep and roomy design which can also accommodate orthotics and both brands are widely recommended by chiropodists and podiatrists.
Owner Jaqueline comments: “There is a growing demand for private practise podiatry clinics and after 22 years of working for the NHS, I decided the time was right to start looking at the next phase of my career.
“Generally, patients are looking for quite specific treatment around more common issues affecting the feet such as corns, calluses or a verruca but we also carry out nail surgery for ingrown nails or other nail-related problems.
“The feet can be such a neglected area of the body which is why I introduced a more wide-ranging selection of treatments. This includes foot-care advice for diabetics but we also have a growing part of the practice dedicated to biomechanical assessment to help prevent injuries or damage arising from unsuitable footwear.
“Although many people engaging in sport are increasingly aware of the benefits of proper gait analysis when choosing sports footwear, we take a more holistic approach. I am a specialist with an intricate understanding of the biomechanical impact of sports on the feet. I use this knowledge to perform assessments to make sure people are wearing the correct footwear for sporting performance in a bid to help reduce the possibilities of injuries occurring
“This service does not just apply to those engaging in sports. I see so many children and teenagers wearing shoes which are unsuitable and can potentially cause damage later in life. Fast-fashion retail outlets can often provide accessible and cheap school shoes that seem attractive on the purse strings but can cause real damage to growing feet. This was the main reasons I now offer a free service in the school holidays so young people can receive a foot assessment for advice on correct footwear.”
Jaqueline was able to access a Virgin StartUp loan to launch her business thanks to help from her business advisor, Judith Wheatley from TEDCO Business Support. Virgin Startup offers government-backed low-cost business loans designed to help entrepreneurs gain access to the capital they need to launch new enterprises in the region. The programme is exclusively delivered in the North East by TEDCO Business Support, giving businesses access to a wide range of financing options when it comes to securing business capital.
Jaqueline already has growth plans in place for 2019 and is looking for two part-time employees to work in her complementary retail outlet at Grange Road Podiatry to help customers looking for orthotic footwear for all walks of life.
Jaqueline continues: “The support from Judith Wheatley from TEDCO really has been outstanding. She has been with me every step of the way and helping me to launch the business. From business planning to financial advice and guidance to helping me secure the financing I needed to open and secure the premises I wanted – she has been an invaluable part of this process from start to finish.”
Jacqueline was introduced to TEDCO when she contacted Darlington Borough Council’s Business Support team who provide information, advice and guidance for any business either looking to set up or already operating in Darlington. The team provides a free and impartial property search and helped to find new business premises for Jacqueline, as well as offering a grant towards business rates available to support new independent businesses taking on an empty unit in the town centre.
Judith Wheatley, TEDCO business advisor comments: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jaqueline and support her ambitions to put her specialist experience and skills to work with a new business venture. Entering into private practice is a daunting prospect for anyone and it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the minutiae of launching and running a business. Jaqueline was clear from the outset on the type of business she wanted to run and how she could integrate complimentary services, such as the footwear retail outlet, to help provide more for her customers. I wish her the very best of luck with Grange Road Podiatry.”