A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Timefinders'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 Timefinders 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


Director Alison Hesketh
Practical help and emotional
The need for a company providing comprehensive senior
life services became apparent to Alison Hesketh through
her own experience: her 79-year-old mother needed help
to navigate the many challenges of downsizing to somewhere
more manageable, thereby embarking on a new phase of
her life. Unable to find anyone to assist them, Alison realised
there was a pressing demand for such services, not only
for families but especially for people who are ageing alone
without relatives to support them. When Alison established
TimeFinders, she was determined to set the highest standards
of integrity and transparency where no regulation exists.
Alison explains how her company provides practical and
emotional help for clients in changing circumstances while also
acting as their advocate to ensure that their best interests are
Where I began
When supporting my mother through what could have been a very daunting
process – which involved sorting through a lifetime’s possessions with her, finding a
new home and helping her to get established in her new community – I discovered
that there were so many people in my mother’s situation. It was because of this
that I created TimeFinders.
»Director: Alison Hesketh
»Established in 2010
»Based in North Wiltshire,
operating across southern
»Services: Practical help
and emotional support for
older people in changing
»Deputyship visits undertaken
throughout England and
Highlighting best practice
Since then, driven by the needs of our
clients, the range of services TimeFinders
provides has grown to include:
»Advice and planning
»Downsizing, relocation and settling in
»Expert care home searches
»Help for “staying put”
»Continuing support and oversight
»Support for expats and caring at a
»Attorney and deputyship services
Ageing alone
Many of our clients are ageing alone or
do not have close family nearby to help
them. Much of the national debate on
ageing focuses on the need for families
to step in and help care for their elderly
relatives. However,thesediscussions
often fail to address the question of
who helps those who do not have
children or have become estranged
from – or even outlived – their family.
We know from the Office for National
Statistics that one in five women born
in the mid-1960s do not have children
(ONS Cohort Fertility 2010.) Although
they do not keep data on men, these
figures are supported by The Institute
for Public Policy Research Generation
Strain Report, which estimates that by
2030 there will be two million people
aged over 65 without adult children.
Of these, approximately 230,000
will need 20 or more hours of care
per week. Some may be supported
by their wider family, but others,
particularly some members of the
LGBT community, may have suffered
estrangement from their extended
family and could struggle to find help.
At TimeFinders, we are dedicated
to helping people who are ageing
alone. We offer practical and sensitive
solutions and, as a co-ordinating
intelligence, help our clients deal with
the many agencies and challenges they
face. Our “Advocacy Service” ensures
that our clients’ voices are heard and
their best interests protected, whether
they have capacity or not. This provides
great peace of mind to those facing
the anxieties and fear of ageing alone.
A client of ours recently shared why
she came to TimeFinders:
Having cared for my mother, I
am completely at a loss to know
how she would have coped
alone. It took so much effort to
work with care providers, social
services and health professionals
to get her the care she needed.
Who is going to do that for me?
I don’t want to be the old lady
screaming in the corner because
I have no family – no one to
make sure I am safe and well
cared for.”
Caring at a distance
For people living abroad who have
family members ageing alone in
the UK, caring at a distance can be
challenging and a real worry too.
In 2013, TimeFinders was part of the
UK Trade and Investment Passport to
Export Programme. We developed our
own unique “Expat Services” and have
gone on to support clients in Australia,
Expert independent
care home searches
Our ‘Advocacy
ensures that
our clients’
voices are
heard and
their best
Canada, France, Hong Kong and the
US. We are beginning to be recognised
by companies with a British expat
workforce as a valuable resource to
reduce assignment failure and support
senior executives with elderly parents
back here in the UK.
A champion for older people
Our approach and way of working with
clients, often in difficult circumstances,
is exceptional and follows our
dedicated person-centred philosophy.
From the outset we wanted a company
that would respect, champion and
support older people to make their
own decisions and retain as much
control and independence aspossible.
Clearly, trust is at the very heart of
all our work. I drew on my 25 years
of experience as a charity trouble-
shooter to create a code of conduct
which is now widely admired. We
have developed the rigorous service
and quality standards necessary to
protect our clients, some of whom are
The technology that supports our
services has been developed in-house
and was designed to be infinitely flexible
to accommodate the diverse needs of
each individual client and expand to
support TimeFinders’ plans for growth.
Our systems are secure and cloud-
based, allowing us access to them
in our clients’ own homes. Every
interaction concerning a client is
recorded for project management,
quality control and continuity ofservice.
Future expansion
We are based in north Wiltshire,
operating mainly in southern England
and London. We are currently
recruiting new TimeFinders to enable
us to meet the needs of local clients, as
well as expand the geographical reach
of our services.
Our biggest challenge is that
TimeFinders offers a new type of
professional service which many
people don’t realise is available.
an emerging voice for change in the
care sector, we have grown steadily
through networking and personal and
professional recommendation.
We are building trusted relationships
with private client solicitors and
accredited later-life financial advisers
to ensure our clients have access to
the right legal and financial advice.
We also do this to assist members of
these professions with the problems
they experience during “mission
creep” when their ageing clients
begin to need help outside their
Looking forward
TimeFinders exists to improve the
quality of life for older people and
their families and to challenge
attitudes that see older people
simply as a problem to manage.
Our expertise, outstanding level of
client support and commitment to
championing the value and experience
of our growing older population
has been recognised and welcomed
by both professional services and
specialists in the care sector.
offers a new
type of
service which
many people
don’t realise is
Skype support for families
caring at a distance


This article was sponsored by Timefinders. 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 Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy