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

CEO Tim Lyons
The TrustedHousesitters
team launching their new
vision, mission and values
TrustedHousesitters is the pet care solution keeping pets
happy at home while helping pet-lovers to travel. Made
up of thousands of pet-loving members around the world,
it is a fast-growing community platform connecting house
and pet owners with sitters who want to make memories, not
money. The story of TrustedHousesitters started in 2010 when
its founder, Andy Peck, travelled to Spain to house and pet sit
while recovering from a serious illness. During his time caring
for a scruffy dog called Dave, he realised just how beneficial
house and pet sitting can be for all involved; the pet stays safe
and happy in its own home, the owner sets off with true peace
of mind, and the sitter gets a unique travel experience. Nine
years later, TrustedHousesitters CEO, Tim Lyons, tells the
how the community has grown from a two-person startup to a
leading, global pet care solution.
With a Brighton-based team of 60 people and a community of members in over
130 countries, the emerging success of TrustedHousesitters shows what a unique
proposition and a clear sense of purpose can bring to a business. Our vision is to
enrich the lives of people and pets around the world by providing the best pet care
solution, we are helping pet lovers to travel more.
Having built a two-sided platform with pet owners on one side and pet sitters on
the other, members pay once a year to use the platform as often as they like. With
no money exchanging hands between members, pet owners get to travel with the
»CEO: Tim Lyons
»Founded in 2010
»Based in Brighton
»Services: House and pet sitting
»No. of employees: 60
»We’re a high-growth business
and are proud to have won
numerous awards including
Richard Branson’s GREAT
Award at the Virgin Media
Business VOOM competition
2016 and Amazon Growing
Business Award in November
Highlighting best practice
peace of mind that their house and
pets are being well cared for, while pet
sitters get to stay somewhere unique
with the company of pets.
Driving a path in the sharing economy,
we are providing an economic solution
to a common global problem: the
need for an affordable solution that
gives pet owners peace of mind that
their pets are able to stay truly safe
and happy at home while they’re
away. We are now approaching
100,000 members globally, which
is a remarkable measure of success
considering this figure was less than
10,000 just over five years ago.
Market landscape
Over half of the developed world’s
population lives with a pet, and both
pet care and travel industries have seen
amazing growth over the last 20 years.
We are at the cross-section of these
two markets.
From research, we know that one
in three pet owners don’t travel as
much as they’d like to because of the
challenges that pet ownership poses.
Travelling with pets is logistically
challenging, expensive and often
stressful for the pets in question, which
is why most vets agree that pets are
happiest in their own environment,
rather than kennels or other boarding
alternatives where they fall out of their
usual routine.
We’re pioneering a new way for pet-
lovers to find complete travel freedom
with a solution that is very altruistic.
Our model
Our subscription membership model
sets us apart from our “agency”
competitors, who typically offer a paid-
for-transactional service.
Placing trust at the centre of the
transaction – over currency – we
believe that our innovative approach to
pet care and travel positions us well for
continued, scalable growth.
From a travel perspective, we offer
an exciting, unique and cost-effective
way for pet lovers to travel the world.
In exchange for caring for people’s
pets, sitters get the chance to stay
in unique places. The global market
leader in what we do, we’re enabling
a new trend in travel which we hope
will make the world a more connected
We have an enviable reputation, with a
9.6 Trustpilot rating across more than
10,000 five-star reviews.
As our community has grown, the
geographic distribution of members
has expanded, and we now provide
pet sitting opportunities in over 14,000
towns and cities worldwide. Our
biggest markets are the UK, US and
Australia, all of which are key areas of
focus for the business.
Our expansion is progressive, but we
take great pride in knowing that our
success translates to a greater number
of life-changing experiences for even
more people. Every day, members tell
Community Manager
and full-time pet sitter
Angela Laws with Ziggy
It’s our
shared love of
pets and travel
that bonds
them, creates
and allows
trust to grow
us that being part of our community
genuinely changes their lives.
Trust is the greatest currency
We’re proving that trust can really
work as a currency and, if well
managed, it offers a win-win for both
parties. Our model can inspire people
to prioritise trust over finance and
consumers who are highly-rated for
their reliability, honesty and kindness
will be favoured in every aspect of
Sharing through our community can
change the way people think about
others. For some, it’s a leap of faith,
but they soon realise this world is full
of good people who want to connect
and share. Our role is to leverage
technology to facilitate the connection
between people willing to share their
homes and pets with travelling pet
We provide a range of features to help
build trust between members; the
platform includes a peer-to-peer review
system, ID verification process – an
insurance backed guarantee – and the
moderation and approval of listings.
Ultimately though, it is the members’
shared love of pets and travel that
bonds them, creates connections and
allows trust to grow.
Having entered a significant period of
growth, we are continuously investing
in more features, improving our
current product and maintaining our
focus on the values that make us great.
With a new website and new iOS and
Android apps, we are positioned to
take the TrustedHousesitters solution
to the next level.
Self-funded for eight years, in October
2018, we received investment funding
from private equity firm Rockpool, who
have a focus on small but profitable
growing companies. We faced
challenges in the transition from start-
up to scale-up because of the lack of
available funding outside of equity.
With the funding support of
Rockpool, we are ready to make
TrustedHousesitters a household name
Looking further afield
We have tapped into global demand
for more frequent and authentic travel,
which is reflected in our growth. There
are still significant opportunities ahead
for growth in global localisation of the
TrustedHousesitters experience.
While continuing to drive awareness by
sharing member stories and promoting
referrals from existing members, our
next major goal is to provide our
service in multiple languages so that a
broader sector of the global population
can enjoy TrustedHousesitters.
We’re helping
pet-lovers to
travel more
while keeping
pets in the
place they’re
happiest –
their home
To enrich the lives of people and pets around the world by providing
the best pet care solution and helping pet lovers to travel more.
To grow a global community of trustworthy pet lovers and continually
develop our platform to enable all our members to enjoy house and
pet sitting. We help pet lovers to travel more while pets stay happier
at home.
Create Connections: We share experiences, welcome ideas and find a
better way together.
Always Respect: We show kindness and understanding to all pets,
people and places.
Realise Passion: We enrich lives every day, and that will always be
what drives us.
Encourage Curiosity: We support each other to see and explore every
exciting possibility.

This article was sponsored by TrustedHousesitters. 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 Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster