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The Platinum Jubilee | 7 Decades of Cleaning Trends

Congratulations to her Majesty to Queen on her Platinum Jubilee.  At Just Helpers we’re celebrating by taking a trip through 7 decades of cleaning trends  – the products, the fads and the ads!

The Fifties

In this post-war decade we were looking towards a brighter future. And what could be more futuristic than the Space Race? The Hoover Constellation vacuum cleaner with Sputnik-inspired styling, actually took off – floating over the floor on a cushion of air. We have lift-off!

Back on earth, only around 33% of UK households owned a washing machine. But the growth in their popularity saw the launch of Daz washing powder – still going strong today.

The Sixties

A third of UK households had a fridge in the sixties, and twin-tub washers were the norm on laundry day. 

In the cleaning aisle Vim boasted your sink would be “the cleanest clean it’s ever been” due to it’s Clorox bleach-based germicidal formula. Did it smell as harsh as it sounds?

The Seventies

By 1970, 65% of households owned a washing machine – so it’s not surprising that this was the decade that saw the launch of fabric conditioner, to make all that laundry smell nice!

This decade also saw some of the most memorable TV ads for cleaning products. Who remembers the Shake n Vac ad, first shown in 1979? Can you still sing the jingle?

Astonish – one of our favourite brands – was launched in 1973, selling oven and cookware cleaner door to door.

The Eighties

This decade was all about convenience. We saved time cooking ready meals in the new microwave ovens, and whizzed through the washing with front loading, automatic washing machines. Ariel laundry liquid was launched in 1985, and Ecover, another Just Helpers favourite brand, started in 1989 in Belgium.

The Nineties

The nineties saw a cleaning revolution with the first bagless vacuum cleaners from Dyson. After struggling to get any interest in his design from UK manufacturers, James Dyson sold the first of his new cleaners in Japan – before taking the USA and UK market by storm.

Vacuum cleaning might have been undergoing a revolution, but traditional ideas about housework were still very common. The Daz Doorstep Challenge ads ran throughout the nineties, filling mums with the fear of their grubby whites appearing on national TV.

The Noughties

We saw more floor-cleaning innovation in this decade, with the rising popularity of the Roomba robot vacuum.

With consumers becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of cleaning products, there are more green ranges launched this decade. In 2001 Method launched their first products, and The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste appeared on shelves.

The Tens

Instagram launched in 2010 and gained over 10 million users in the first year. And with it came the rise of the cleaning influencers, and their impact on cleaning trends. The “Mrs Hinch” effect saw 100 year old brand Zoflora floral disinfectant back in vogue, with followers eagerly sharing their favourite fragrances. 

The Twenties

We’re only a couple of years in, but it’s been quite a decade already! The COVID 19 pandemic unsurprisingly sparked a huge increase in global sales of surface cleaners. In addition, many people discovered the calming benefits of cleaning their homes during Lockdown. And we are seeing the rise of more eco-friendly cleaning trends – nicer for us, are homes, and the planet.

However you are celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we hope you have a wonderful time.

Antoinette in Woman Magazine

Commercial Cleaning for your Business

During this lockdown period I’ve been working on a really exciting project with Sussex Innovation Centre to look at the future direction of Just Helpers.  In particular I’ve been looking at our commercial cleaning service.

 

Exciting Opportunity

At a Female Founders Event in February, I talked with a member of the Innovation Centre team about Just Helpers. It was so exciting to reflect on where we have come from, with someone who was seeing the business for the first time – a “fresh pair of eyes.”

Following this event, Sussex Innovation Centre gave us 12 free hours of business coaching, as part of a project funded by the European Union.

This comes at a great time for Just Helpers. Over the last few months we have been  thinking about who our clients are, what we can do better, and how we can connect with more commercial clients in particular. We already provide a great service to a number of commercial clients, and our Helpers have been asking for more of this type of work.

I spent some time with Simon Chuter from the Innovation Centre where he helped me to really focus on what we offer to our commercial clients and what makes it special.

 

Our Commercial Cleaning Service

At Just Helpers we  really care about our service.  That means:

  • Attention to detail and being responsive
  • Supporting our Helpers so they stay with us – our high retention is rare in the cleaning industry
  • Being an integral part of your team
  • Contribute to a company’s CSR as with every hour of cleaning purchased, we donate to a B1G1 project
  • Every Helper is paid the London Living Wage as a minimum
  • Taking care of your cleaning so you don’t have to!

 

Reaching New Clients

Simon is going to be developing a marketing plan for Just Helpers to help us to reach more of the commercial clients we want to work with. I am so grateful for the European Union Funding which has made this possible.

We are looking forward to working with some new commercial clients in the future. So if you are:

  • A business of 5-30 members of staff
  • Looking for 6-10 hours of cleaning a week
  • Located in Farringdon, Blackfriars, Holborn, Euston, London Bridge, Oxford St, Soho, Tottenham Court Rd, Islington, Victoria

please get in touch.

Of course we will still be providing our great service to our domestic clients too!

 

My Vision

Like many small to medium-sized business owners, I am often juggling many different aspects of the business – I often feel like a “jack of all trades”!   So it’s great to have real experts on board and supporting Just Helpers.

In addition, I will also be working with Anne-Fay Townsend looking at my role as a female founder, and my hopes and dreams for the future of the business – and they are big!

 

Involving the Team 

We’ll be holding a remote team training day for our managers in the coming weeks to look at how these developments can be rolled out across the business.  At the end of that day we will be having a whole team Zoom AGM involving the Helpers, to get their feedback and ideas.

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing regular updates with you.  Watch our for my Tuesday Thoughts, live on our Facebook page every Tuesday at around 6.15pm.

#EC1 #EC2 #EC3 #EC4 #E1 #WC1 #WC2 #SE1 #W1 #N1 #SW1

 

How to Clean Your Fridge with Antoinette

Cleaning the fridge is one of those tasks that’s easy to overlook. But a clean fridge helps to keep your food fresher for longer, and stops the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.

Just Helpers Founder Antoinette shares her top tips on how to clean your fridge with minimum fuss.

When to Clean Your Fridge

It’s a good idea to clean your fridge at most every 3 months. Of course, if something spills in the fridge it’s best to wipe it up straight away. This is especially important for milk, which will smell bad if it isn’t cleaned up quickly. Wiping up sticky spills as they happen will also make it easier to clean your fridge.

To clean your fridge thoroughly, you need to empty it first. So, it makes sense to clean your fridge before you go to the supermarket or before your delivery arrives. That way, you will have less food to store whilst you clean.

Before you Start to Clean Your Fridge

Now is the time to have a good sort through the contents of your fridge.

  • Throw away any food which is out of date or inedible – don’t forget those half jars of chutney left over from Christmas!
  • Empty your vegetable drawers and salad crisper.
  • Take everything out of the door racks – get rid of flat fizzy drinks or the dregs in wine bottles.
  • Put perishable food (especially meat, fish and dairy products) into a cool bag or box with frozen chill packs to keep them fresh while you clean.
  • Finally, check the manufacturer’s instructions for your fridge for any special precautions.

How to Clean Your Fridge – Step by Step

  1. If possible, pull out your fridge. Vacuum around, underneath and behind it, and wash the floor.
  2.  Remove the drawers, crisper and shelves.  Leave them on the kitchen counter to come up to room temperature before washing. This is especially important for glass shelves which can shatter with a sudden change in temperature.
  3. Wipe all the surfaces inside the fridge including the door. Avoid using bleach or strong-smelling cleaning products which can taint the food. A solution of bicarbonate of soda, vinegar or Milton is ideal. Bicarbonate of soda is also great for neutralising odours if a spill has gone unnoticed and resulted in a nasty niff!  Cotton buds are great for cleaning fiddly corners. Dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel.
  4. If you notice a pool of water at the bottom of  your fridge, it’s likely that your drip-hole is blocked. Find this at the back of the fridge – a cocktail stick is useful to clean it.
  5. Wash the shelves, drawers and crisper in hot soapy water (washing up liquid is perfect). Remember to remove the plastic guard strips from each of the shelves. These often need a good soak and a scrubbing brush to get to the bottom of the narrow crevices. Don’t be tempted to pop them in the dishwasher either  – it’s too hot. I also find that it leaves watermarks on the  plastic components.  Dry thoroughly before putting them back in the fridge.
  6. Don’t forget the outside of the fridge. A micro-fibre cloth is great for getting a streak-free finish. Use a vacuum to clean crumbs and debris from the door seal and wipe with your bicarbonate of soda solution. Dry thoroughly.
  7. Now you’re done! Let your fridge get back to the correct temperature before re-filling it (a fridge thermometer is useful for this).

Keeping your Fridge Clean

Now that your fridge is fresh and clean, you’ll want to keep it that way! Try these tips for fridge organisation.

  • Wipe the outside and bottom of jars and bottles before you put them back in the fridge.
  • Try to put everything back in an organised way so you can find things.
  • Try to put food which needs to be used first closest to the front.
  • Consider using labelled baskets or trays to keep similar foods together (cheese, yoghurts, jams etc)
  • Organise your vegetable drawers, with tender products such as salad leaves separate from heavier, more robust veg such as carrots or sweet potatoes. This will stop them getting crushed and spoiled.
  • Label your left-overs and plan when you will use them, or freeze them so they last longer.
  • Write the date on jars or bottles when you open them – that way you can be sure to use them up while they are still fresh, and avoid waste.
  • When you do your big shop, get into the habit of checking and pruning current items before adding more stuff in. Take this opportunity to give shelves and doors a quick wipe too.

How to Clean Silver by Antoinette

There’s something very satisfying about sitting down to clean silver.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited a silver cream jug from Granny, or if you have silver jewellery, you’ll know that it can become tarnished very quickly.

But there’s nothing like bringing something dull and dirty-looking to a bright, shiny polish. Here are our tips on how to clean silver.

Before you begin to clean silver items

First of all, ask yourself whether the object actually needs cleaning. Sometimes a bit of tarnish is part of the design, to give it more character.  If you remove all of the tarnish you might spoil the appearance. You might not be able to see the details on engravings, for example, if you clean all the tarnish away.

Here are our Top Tips for Cleaning Silver

Wash it away

A simple solution of washing up liquid, or laundry detergent, can be enough to clean silver.  Wash the surface of the item carefully, then rinse and dry.

Rub it away

You can clean silver by rubbing the tarnish away using something mildly abrasive. Make a paste with cornstarch and water. Rub it onto the surface and leave to dry, then rub away with a cloth.  Toothpaste, and baking soda can also produce the same results.

Dissolve it away

Many people swear by tomato ketchup to clean silver. Squirt a small amount onto a piece of kitchen towel and gently rub over the surface. For more stubborn tarnish, leave the ketchup to work for a few minutes before wiping it away, then rinse in clean water and dry.  It is the vinegar in the ketchup which removes the tarnish. Lemon juice works in the same way.

Soak it away

This method uses a chemical reaction between aluminium foil and baking soda to clean silver.  Take an aluminium foil dish, add baking soda and boiling water, then place the silver items in the solution to soak for a few minutes. The tarnish should disappear, without affecting the silver underneath. Read more about how this method works, here:

How to Clean Silver Jewellery

If you want to clean silver jewellery, you will need to take special care.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean delicate fastenings and small areas.
  • Do not clean jewellery over the sink it case you drop it!
  • Put small items into a sieve or an old tea strainer, and clean over a bowl.
  • Be very careful if your jewellery includes gemstones. Pearls can be easily scratched, for example.

How to Maintain Your Clean Silver

Now that you’ve cleaned your silver, you’ll want to keep it looking its best.

  • Silver becomes tarnished by moisture so make sure it is fully dry before storing.
  • Try storing your silver with silica gel bags.
  • Chalk can also help to absorb moisture.
  • Don’t wrap your clean silver items in newspaper; this can cause them to tarnish.
  • Try wrapping items in silver cleaning cloths.
  • Never clean silver items in a dishwasher.
  • Remove silver jewellery before washing your hands or showering so that it doesn’t get clogged with soap or hair conditioner.
  • Always take off rings before applying handcream or other cosmetics.

More Information:
For more great tips on how to clean silver and valuables, try these:

Good Housekeeping
The Victoria and Albert Museum

Cleaning Products Review: Astonish

When it comes to cleaning, our Helpers have high standards. So who better to carry out a cleaning product review?

We asked our Just Helpers team to review Astonish Cleaning Products. Here’s the verdict.

Astonish Cleaning products are “cleaners with a conscience” – so they are perfect for Just Helpers! The products are approved by the Vegan Society . This means they contain no animal ingredients and are not tested on animals. Astonish are a UK family business, and part of their mission is to keep their road miles to a minimum. Their laboratories, manufacturing and packaging are all under one roof.

But do the products work? Our Just Helpers team put them to the test in some everyday cleaning tasks. Here’s what they said: 

Astonish Premium Edition Kitchen Cleaner (Citrus Grove)

  • Tested in kitchen (including oven)
  • Has a synthetic lemon smell
  • Quite good at dealing with grease
  • Effectiveness score 4/5

Astonish Premium Edition Multi-Surface Cleaner (Citrus Grove)

  • Tested in kitchen and bathroom
  • A lovely smell
  • Good on grease
  • Effectiveness score 3/5

Astonish Oven and Cookware Cleaner Paste

  • Tested on oven and cookware
  • Smells okay
  • Less effective on old burnt-on grease
  • Effectiveness score 3.5/5

Astonish Ultimate Limescale Remover

  • Tested on bathroom and kitchen sink
  • Smells lovely
  • Effectiveness score 5/5
  • Would definitely recommend – “Highly impressed!”

Astonish Bathroom Cleaner and Floor Cleaner

  • Tested on bathroom and floors
  • Lovely smell – “I’m really please with how Astonish smells”
  • Effectiveness score 5/5 – “strong and very efficient”
  • Definitely recommended – “I’ve already recommended it to a few of our customers”.

Astonish Window & Glass

  • Tested in the kitchen
  • Smell okay
  • Effectiveness score 5/5
  • Recommended

Astonish Mould and Mildew Blaster

  • Tested in the bathroom
  • Smells okay
  • Effectiveness score 4/5
  • Recommended

Overall verdict

We got some great comments about these products from our Just Helpers Team. Everyone agreed that the cleaning products were economical to use. They used about the amount they would expect, to get results.  Most of the team also liked the smell of the products.

Where to find Astonish Cleaning Products

We bought our Astonish products in Dunelm Mill, and Poundland. For more stockists, click here.

How to Clean Your Carpets: with Antoinette

If your carpets are clean and smell fresh, it makes a big difference to your home.

Like many cleaning tasks, prevention is better than cure when it comes to carpets.

Regular Cleaning

Vacuuming your carpets regularly helps to keep them clean. It also reduces allergens such as house dust mites, pollen and pet dander.

Ideally, you should vacuum your carpets twice a week.  Focus on areas where crumbs and dust gather, such as under the dining table or around the sofa.

In high traffic areas such as the hall and stairs, you might want to vacuum more frequently to stop your carpets getting flattened and grimy.

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

You can’t beat cordless for convenience. Most cordless vacuum cleaners are lightweight too, so are perfect for the stairs. A cordless vacuum is perfect for a quick whizz around, but the on-board battery can mean you run out of power before you’ve finished the job. Most brands sell spare batteries, which allow you to have one on charge all the time.

A traditional corded vacuum cleaner (very much your Helper’s preference) gives you unlimited cleaning time, and they are often much cheaper to buy than the cordless versions. Look out for a model with a long power cable, especially if you have stairs. Always vacuum with the cleaner at the bottom of the stairs to avoid the risk of it falling onto you.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a good range of tools. Upholstery and pet attachments are particularly useful, and a turbo tool can give you an extra boost when you need it.

We remain stalwart supporters of the Miele range. Look out for Miele bargains around the summer sales.

Treating Spills and Stains

Look at any supermarket cleaning aisle and you will see a huge selection of stain removers for carpets. Always make sure you use a product that is suitable for your type of carpet, and do a patch test in an inconspicuous area, just in case.

For dried-in stains, use a sponge to dab the stain towards the centre. Don’t be tempted to rub too hard or you may make the stain bigger! Use a dry white cloth to blot the area, then leave to dry.

Eco Alternatives

Bicarbonate of soda is a great stand-by for dealing with spills or pet accidents.  It quickly neutralises nasty odours. Once you have removed the spillage from the carpet, sprinkle the dry powder over the affected area. Leave for an hour or two, then vacuum.

The Big Clean

Every six to twelve months it is well worth giving your carpets a deep clean by shampooing them. You can hire a machine from many DIY stores. Why not consider splitting the cost by sharing a weekend hire with a neighbour? I recently hired a Rug Doctor machine from my local supermarket. The whole process was surprisingly easy and gave my beige carpets a well-needed lease of life.

When you’re shampooing your carpets remember:

  • Vacuum your carpets thoroughly before you begin
  • Always read the instructions for the machine carefully
  • Check the care instructions for your carpet and do a patch test first
  • Use the correct cleaning solution for the machine
  • Be careful not to make the carpet too wet
  • Open windows when you have finished to let out the moisture, to avoid mildew.

Top Tips for Clean Carpets

  • Choose your carpets carefully. If you are replacing carpets, avoid very pale colours, especially in high traffic areas such as halls and stairs. These colours might look beautiful when they are new, but they will show up every mark!
  • Consider opting for carpets which are stain resistant.
  • If you have young children or pets, this is especially important.
  • Use barrier mats or rugs to protect carpets from muddy paws or food spills.
  • Treat spills and stains immediately if you can – it will make them much easier to remove.
  • Vacuum regularly to keep carpets looking their best.

If you’d prefer to relax and let us look after your carpets for you, contact us here to book your helper or let us arrange a service with one of our tried and trusted carpet cleaning partners.

Useful Links
Big Green Smile offer a range of eco-friendly carpet and floor cleaning products.
More tips here on shampooing, from Vax.

What the Venus Award Means to Just Helpers – from our Founder Antoinette Daniel

“Just Doing the Right Thing” is at the heart of what Just Helpers is all about.

So when I was recognised as Employer of the Year in London, in the Venus Awards, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

What are the Venus Awards?

The Venus Awards have been called “The working women’s Oscars”. They recognise the achievements of hard-working women, and female-friendly businesses, across the country. I was lucky enough to be nominated for the award by a Just Helpers customer. From 45 nominations, I made it down to the shortlist of 4. Then, at a glamour-filled ceremony at the Waldorf Hotel in London, I was announced as the winner! For me, the award is a recognition of the achievements of the whole team at Just Helpers.

Values

I founded Just Helpers out of a passion for justice, fair pay and decent working conditions. Inspired by my charity work with an anti human-trafficking organisation, I placed these values at the heart of the business.

In our cities, vulnerable migrant workers, and particularly women, are often exploited by unscrupulous employers with poor pay and working conditions.  I saw this injustice first hand, and so I decided to begin my own business to provide an alternative – providing domestic and commercial cleaning services.

The Just Helpers Approach

Being an ethical, professional business which nurtures and supports women is central to the Just Helpers Approach.

  • Paying the London Living Wage – a good day’s work for a good day’s pay
  • Developing People – mentoring our Helpers to improve their confidence and communication
  • Professionalism –through our process of vetting, hands on interview and shared standards, we ensure your Helper is right for you
  • Pride – Our Helper of the Month Award, nominated by our clients, rewards a job well done
  • Recognising Potential – where we can, we grow our Helpers into Managers

Campaigning

Campaigning is a big part of who I am. The award has been a great opportunity to encourage people to follow the Just Helper’s approach. In my acceptance speech I said: “Please make sure you know how much you pay your cleaner and if you are going to use an agency, make sure they are ethical. A good day’s work for a good day’s pay – everyone deserves that.

A good day’s work for a good day’s pay – everyone deserves that.

Just Helpers is affiliated to the Living Wage Foundation. This organisation campaigns for workers to be paid fair wages which reflects actual living costs in the capital, and across the nation.

Expertise

In further recognition of what we have achieved at Just Helpers, I am excited to have been asked to be a Champion for the London Mayor’s “Good Work Standard”. This initiative aims to bring together the best employment practices in London. It will work to raise standards for workers across the city, through educating employers and informing government policy. I’m looking forward to sharing my expertise and working alongside them to ensure a robust and fair policy for all sizes of businesses.

The Future

The Venus Award has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and to reflect on all that we have achieved so far at Just Helpers. The positive validation from someone outside the agency has encouraged us to punch bigger and higher. Our greater passion has now become to end exploitation within the UK cleaning agency. Watch this space!

Over the coming months, Just Helpers will continue to grow, with a new Just Helpers App, an exciting new rebrand and new services such as Lifestyle Support for people in retirement.

A Christmas Message from Antoinette the Founder

Merry Christmas from Just Helpers!

As an office team, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you for trusting us to find great cleaning colleagues who match your home and office spaces over this past year. This year has been a big year of growth for us, which has been exciting and has kept us all very busy. We are excited about the creation of our new App which will be launched in the first quarter of next year. This will help to ease communication, allow you and your Helper to keep up with your cleaning schedules, give you an easy platform to make comments and allow you to connect with the team more readily.

It was thrilling to have our 3 babies in the manager’s team and the arrival of baby Matthew to Monika in September has been wonderful – more on that in January!

Empowering Women

Being nominated by one of you for a Venus award this year was also very humbling, and much more making it through to the final 4 and a ‘juoozy’ awards evening at the Waldorf with the team on the 3rd as an Employer of the year has been an interesting journey. We look forward to announcing the results.

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Many of you ask me about potential gifts for your Helper. For all of the team, the very best thing for them is a monetary tip as they are often trying to support family still located in their countries of origin. I will leave this between you and your cleaner, but please do be mindful of your last cleaning day before Christmas with your regular Helper. I would suggest just leaving a card etc, in a prominent place where she is likely to find it. Last year I can honestly say that most of my team were moved to tears because of your generosity. Thank you in advance.

Our Christmas Charity Appeal

We are supporting two charities this year:

The first is Bulgarian charity spearheaded by Olga one of our cleaning colleagues. She and a group of friends organise a busload of items to be delivered to a charity that cares for Children in the care system in Bulgaria. There is a desperate need for items of clothing, toiletries, stationery and toys. As many of our team are Bulgarian, we want to get behind this in two ways:

Our team will rally together to donate various second-hand items from their family. Secondly, any money raised by the team for both this and our UK charity below will be matched by the agency. We will divide the money and have a day as a team in the spring where we create as many gift-boxes as we can to send with the next bus that Olga and her friends will organise. We would LOVE it if you could consider donating some money towards this.

The second is Children with Cancer UK. This was the charity that is close to our manager Yana Yaneva’s heart and won the team’s vote too. Already as a team, we have raised over £600. This will be matched pound for pound by the agency. Could you join us in donating to this charity too? Find out more at https://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk

Christmas Festivities near you

We currently clean for 9 great churches and their clergy around London. I know that they will be busily planning their Christmas services now. If the thought of Carols by Candlelight, Alfrescosinging, festive wreath making, midnight mass, an evening of carols at your local jazz bar, Children’s Nativity service, a Christmas market or the chance to find out what Christmas is really all about beyond the trees, carols, Santa and gifts piques your interest, why not drop into one of their services or a church more local to you. See below for details of our connections:

Streatham Central Church
Dundonald Church Wimbledon
Hornsey Parish Church
St Michael’s Battersea
St Thomas More Swiss Cottage
St Peter’s Bethnal Green
St Andrew’s Chelsea
The Bridge Battersea Community Church
St Mary Abbots Parish Church Kensington

Christmas and New Year often provide a time and space for us to reboot, rethink and in some cases change direction. I pray for safety and well-being for each and every one of you as you pause, reflect, spend time with family and friends and enter into a new year.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
Warmest wishes,
Antoinette, Lydia, Monika, Vivian, Vanya, Yana, Yana, and the Just Helpers Team

Just Helpers Journey – by Antoinette Daniel

Just Helpers Journey – The Reason

I started the company in 2013 when I landed an amazing part-time job working for an anti-human trafficking organisation.

Having loved being a secondary school teacher for 12 years, the cut in salary to pursue something that I am so passionate about was tricky. I have always loved cleaning for friends and family and took pride in seeing peoples faces after my efforts. Coming home after a long day of work and knowing that your home space is serene, organised and clean is a joy to behold. Ensuring that “wow” and “ahhhh” feeling when clients get home still gives me the same satisfaction today. This motivation was key in inspiring and brainstorming business ideas to help support my charity work. So through my love of cleaning and hard work a business was born.

Small Beginnings

Consequently, through friends at church, I was connected to my first amazing client (Eve, how apt!) and the cleaning agency has rapidly grown from there.  My passion for justice, fair pay and working conditions was at the core of the business from the very beginning. As I received more and more referrals the business grew and gradually evolved through word of mouth recommendations. From a one-woman business to appointing my first colleagues Barbara and Yana Yaneva along the way, to what you see today – Just Helpers.

It was clear by 2015 that my role should evolve more strategically and I should continue to combine my two passions:

Cleaning and Empowering Women

Unfortunately, through my anti-trafficking work, I saw first hand the exploitation that happens in all communities even those right on our doorsteps. In our UK neighbourhoods, vulnerable people are taken advantage of and not given the opportunities, rights and kindnesses that every person should be afforded. I knew early on that If I could provide an alternative career, where women were nurtured and encouraged to build their own businesses: then my vision would help many individuals in their own journeys.

Fair pay and good working conditions are rare in the cleaning industry

I decided that this ethic should underpin everything that we do. So “Just doing the right thing’ became our motto. Just Helpers from its very inception have been proud affiliates of the London Living Wage Foundation. An organisation campaigning tirelessly to ensure fair pay is awarded to workers and help highlight the poverty crisis in the UK (please find out more here). Just Helpers supports your cleaner by ensuring they receive an equitable wage from their clients but my conscience pushed that we go way beyond that. Just Helpers is my family and I instil pride and enthusiasm in all of my teammates from the very start. With a team of great in-house, ‘home-grown’ managers, we mentor your Helper to improve their confidence and assist them in their communication with their clients.  Where we see Helpers with the potential for growth beyond cleaning, we promote them to be a manager at the earliest opportunity.

Ethics are central to our company operations and we employ this internally within our office team and in our interactions with you and your cleaner.

We have grown to be a management agency providing London cleaning services for both domestic and commercial clients. We act on behalf of professional, affordable and conscientious cleaners (we prefer the term ‘Helpers’), who will love your home like their own. Our experience in the industry enables us to help you and your Helper develop a strong, solid relationship.

All of our Helpers providing cleaning services in London are vetted and put through three hands-on cleaning interviews to make sure that they are the right Helper for you.  We want to know that they subscribe to a shared standard that they have agreed upon as a collective over time. This is ever-changing, especially as new Helpers join the ranks and share their expertise. We have learnt how to spot a great ‘Helper’ through our robust interview process and are regularly approached by women wanting to join Just Helpers as our honest, fair and empowering reputation spreads across communities both here and abroad. I am so proud and delighted to advocate and administrate for such a committed team of colleagues.

So that is the Just Helpers Journey so far. What’s next?

The Future

Being a South Londoner, London has always been my home but since childhood, I have had a love of the sea. In my younger years as a teacher, I taught both in the UK and in Africa and have been fortunate enough to travel broadly.  Even with experiencing many countries, I love nothing more than coming home. This summer I took the first step in making my longer-term dream come true. I moved to live by the sea. Just Helpers now has a team of Operations Managers and over 40 Helpers providing high quality, reliable and efficient cleaning. My aim is to eventually own my own home by the sea and help raise teenagers through fostering.

This is my 5-year plan

Professionally, Just Helpers must continue to grow and I have some great people supporting me in navigating the next exciting phase of growth. I have also been privileged to have been invited to contribute to the Mayor of London’s ‘Good Work Standard’ initiative as a Champion.  The aim of this initiative is to promote equitable and nurturing working standards in London businesses. This exciting committee should help to educate and inform other businesses and government policy in this sector. Ensuring working conditions improve for all is the focus for the future.

I am also extremely excited to have been nominated for the Venus Women’s Awards (by one of our clients) in the category of ‘Employer of the Year – London’. This team effort is a great recognition of how far we have come. We are thrilled to have just found out we are Finalists. The whole management team will attend a lovely event in December to find out if we win. Regardless of the outcome I am so proud of everyone and cannot wait to celebrate!

Who knows what the future holds after that, Homecare and Life Administration is another string to our bow coming soon to London’s postcodes. A new system and App to streamline our communication between Helpers, Clients and the office team,  Just Helpers in another part of the UK…Watch this space!

For now though lets ‘Just’ take one step at a time!  And thank-you to all of those who have journeyed with us along the way.

Need a hand cleaning your home?

Life in London is demanding and time is at a premium. Get some sparkle back into your life and home with one of our domestic cleaning packages.

Looking for commercial cleaning?

We provide a regular cleaning service for offices and commercial premises in the Greater London area, helping you maintain a professional, healthy and productive work and business environment.

We’d love to chat with you, see your space and walk you through our process.

Call us

020 3995 4810 - Clients
020 3995 4820 - Helpers

Email us

info@justhelpers.co.uk

Our office

Kings Parade, Lower Coombe Road, Croydon, CR0 1AA

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