Owl Guardian Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Owl Guardian Services's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Owl Guardian Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

owlguardianservicesltd.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES
Managing Director
CarolMcCullough
Owl Guardian Services Limited provides support in
safeguarding and managing the estates of those who
are unable to deal with their own affairs. In matters that
concern both property and finances, there is a need for a service
to help the most vulnerable. Managing Director Carol McCullough
explains that this is Owl’s role – one which she says is set against a
backdrop of public service cuts and a growing elderly population.
One of the biggest challenges currently facing public services is a growing
older generation with increased numbers suffering from frail health, dementia
and mental health problems. Owl Guardians offer a vital service in this area,
safeguarding financial and property matters for the vulnerable. We offer a
professional, dedicated service tailored to meet the client’s requirements, from
managing finances, to claiming benefit income and sourcing care provision.
In addition, we engage the services of professional and skilled personnel ranging
from occupational therapists to plumbers, handymen to investment advisors. We
work closely with the Court of Protection, social services, advocates, medical teams,
family and others involved in the client’s wellbeing. We charge the local authority
set fees for deputyship work as laid down by the court and similarly affordable
rates for power of attorney work.
Struggling to deal with their finances effectively, yet without warranting the aid of
the local authority or being able to afford solicitors’ fees, more and more of our
vulnerable members of society are disappearing into a financial and social abyss.
Owl Guardian Services serves to bridge this gap – to provide affordable financial
support to those in who need it most.
FACTS ABOUT
OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES
»Managing Director:
CarolMcCullough
»Founded in 2012
»Located in Buckinghamshire
»Services: Safeguarding
financial and property matters
for the vulnerable
»No. of employees: 11
Owl Guardian Services
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES
Managing Director
CarolMcCullough
Owl Guardian Services Limited provides support in
safeguarding and managing the estates of those who
are unable to deal with their own affairs. In matters that
concern both property and finances, there is a need for a service
to help the most vulnerable. Managing Director Carol McCullough
explains that this is Owl’s role – one which she says is set against a
backdrop of public service cuts and a growing elderly population.
One of the biggest challenges currently facing public services is a growing
older generation with increased numbers suffering from frail health, dementia
and mental health problems. Owl Guardians offer a vital service in this area,
safeguarding financial and property matters for the vulnerable. We offer a
professional, dedicated service tailored to meet the client’s requirements, from
managing finances, to claiming benefit income and sourcing care provision.
In addition, we engage the services of professional and skilled personnel ranging
from occupational therapists to plumbers, handymen to investment advisors. We
work closely with the Court of Protection, social services, advocates, medical teams,
family and others involved in the client’s wellbeing. We charge the local authority
set fees for deputyship work as laid down by the court and similarly affordable
rates for power of attorney work.
Struggling to deal with their finances effectively, yet without warranting the aid of
the local authority or being able to afford solicitors’ fees, more and more of our
vulnerable members of society are disappearing into a financial and social abyss.
Owl Guardian Services serves to bridge this gap – to provide affordable financial
support to those in who need it most.
FACTS ABOUT
OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES
»Managing Director:
CarolMcCullough
»Founded in 2012
»Located in Buckinghamshire
»Services: Safeguarding
financial and property matters
for the vulnerable
»No. of employees: 11
Owl Guardian Services
43OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES |
CARE
Court ordered
Owl Guardians originates from my
previous employment with a local
authority, looking after deputyships
and the affairs of vulnerable members
of our society. The recent change in
our understanding of mental health
has seen a developed awareness
as to the devastating impact that
problems which stem from these
can cause. The strain on local
authorities to support such people
has become overwhelming, with
their ability to cope made even more
challenging by spending cuts and an
increasingpopulation.
I was fortunate to be supported by
the court when I established Owl
Guardians and received invaluable
advice and mentoring through the
initial stages when I approached
them with my business plan. Many in
the Court of Protection were aware
that vulnerable people were slipping
through the net, either because they
could not afford a solicitor or did not
qualify for local authority assistance,
and the possibility of an alternative
option was welcomed.
Reducing the strain
In the words of Scottish economist
Adam Smith, “It is not from the
benevolence of the butcher, the brewer
or the baker that we expect to eat our
dinner, but from their regard to their
own interest.” If the private sector can
align itself to work with society so that
its goals are mutual and not opposed,
then we will be stronger for it.
We believe that the private sector has
the skill set, vision and drive to succeed,
not at the expense of the poor and
vulnerable but using the advantages
of business and the economies of scale
to provide a service that works for all
concerned. At Owl Guardians we are
not only able to manage these processes
more efficiently than a local authority,
but we can also manage the client’s
money to provide for their needs without
putting further strain on public funds.
Maintaining mutual goals, however, is
not always an easy challenge. To achieve
this requires constant self-vigilance, self-
restraint and a passion for humankind.
We believe we are part of a new wave
of businesses with social conscience and
not profit at the heart of what we do.
We have worked exceptionally hard
to build relationships not just with our
clients, but with the founding blocks
of our communities, from police and
safeguarding teams, to social workers
and carers and continuously liaising with
local authorities and councils, so that
our clients can place their trust in us. We
must also work closely with those who
govern and advise us. In doing so we
create a series of checks and balances
that allow a trust to be developed
between the public and private sectors.
Regulation and celebration
A major concern for us is the lack of
regulation for private companies in this
small sector. Although deputyship work
is heavily scrutinised by the court and
the Office of the Public Guardian, not Company Directors
– Carol and Sean
McCullough
It is not from
the
benevolence
of the
butcher, the
brewer or the
baker that we
expect to eat
our dinner,
but from their
regard to their
own interest
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | OWL GUARDIAN SERVICES
having a dedicated governing authority
puts the sector at a disadvantage.
Solicitors have the Law Society and
LA deputyship teams have APAD. To
overcome this, Owl Guardian Services
have decided to lay the foundation
of an association by setting our own
exacting standards ofconduct.
We are currently communicating
with other unregulated services who
work under the Court of Protection
in an effort to establish a professional
association. Beyond this, we review
every process of our operation,
always looking for ways to improve
how we protect our clients and their
private information. Furthermore, we
scrutinise in minute detail every area of
our own operation. We must ensure
that our first check is always ourselves
and the internal processes we have in
place to protect our clients.
We also note that in spite of its
intentions, the introduction of Universal
Credit has served to further complicate
matters. Operating as a third party is
difficult, and while we agree with the
principle, the execution of the service
leaves a great deal to bedesired.
Time well spent
Though we face many challenges in
the coming years, I have confidence
in our ability to deal with them as
our biggest asset is the quality and
dedication of the Owl Guardian
team. The work environment is
energetic with a feeling of collective
responsibility and mutual respect. We
are proud of what we do and proud of
the people we represent.
I was 60 years old when starting this
business so have to consider retirement
in the near future. The venture has
been the most exciting and rewarding
experience. I am very proud of what
has been achieved and certain that the
organisation will continue to grow,
providing a vital service to the vulnerable
and worthwhile employment to
dedicated staff for many years to come.
We believe we
are part of a
new wave of
businesses
with social
conscience
and not profit
at the heart of
what we do
The Owl Guardians team

owlguardianservicesltd.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Owl Guardian Services. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development