July 19, 2024

Homesitters Ltd champions mental health and adventure in Mental Health Awareness Week

In Mental Health Awareness Week[i], leading home and pet sitting company, Homesitters Ltd is highlighting how becoming a homesitter can boost mental wellbeing by encouraging people to be more active, enjoy regular breaks away and have purpose.

The Mental Health Foundation, the organisers of the awareness week have chosen this year’s theme as; “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”. They point out that movement is important for mental health, but many struggle to move enough.

Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd emphasises that home and pet sitting is an energetic role, particularly if clients have dogs which need a lot of walking.

Ben comments, “Homesitting involves taking care of a client’s home and pets when they go away. It’s a job that appeals for lots of reasons including the opportunity to exercise more, visit new places and spend time with pets, all of which contribute to better mental wellbeing.

“Homesitting gives people purpose and the chance to have a mini holiday when on assignment, with time for exploring, meeting new people and having new experiences. Although most don’t do it for the financial gain, it does provide a small income and people save on their own bills when on assignments too.”

One couple who are making the most of their homesitting lifestyle are Jim and Ros Slaughter, a retired couple from Chichester in their early 70s, who have done 84 homesits. They decided to become homesitters after they retired.

Jim explains, “We wanted to do something a bit different but still purposeful in our retirement. Getting a part time job or setting up a business didn’t really appeal because we didn’t want to be tied into a routine anymore. We wanted the freedom to travel extensively, visit new places and meet new people.”

The couple are very sporty and active. Ros plays golf and is an avid gardener and both of them love walking and they are great animal lovers. One of their biggest attractions of home sitting was the opportunity to look other people’s dogs.

They have relished looking after a wide variety of dogs which have included Alsatians, Pugs, Westies, lots of Labradors and even Samoyed dogs.

Ros said, “The pets are everything to us. We love staying in grand houses and we have some fabulous clients who are really interesting and lovely. Home sitting provides a real break from the routine and a chance to get fit walking the dogs.”

The Slaughters also like the fact that home sitting is flexible. The pick and choose their assignments and make sure they have time available for their travel plans. Jim concludes, “Home sitting is really fun but it is also purposeful. We can also do it as much or as little as we like and we combining all our interests together and the animals are the best part of all.”

Homesitters is currently recruiting. Ideal candidates are responsible and reliable people, who are good listeners, readily available through the year, and will be sensitive to clients’ requirements. Proven pet-care skills and a genuine affinity for animals are also a bonus.

For more information and to apply to become a homesitter visit: www.homesitters.co.uk

[i] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/mental-health-awareness-week