Professional Comment

From Searching to Serving: The Captivating Tale of a Volunteer-TCurned-Care Home Entrepreneur

By Billy Dulay, billydulay,

Hey there, I’m Billy, and let me tell you, life hasn’t always been this meaningful. Ten years ago, I was lost, going from one job to another, never quite finding my groove. Retail work, construction sites, the traditional 9-to-5 grind—I tried them all, desperately searching for a path that would give my life purpose. But truth be told, it felt like I was wandering through a foggy haze, unsure of where I was headed. I explored different avenues, pursued my passions, and listened to the whispers of my heart. And slowly, but surely, clarity began to emerge.

Growing up with the values instilled by my immigrant grandparents and my shopkeeper parents, I’ve always had a deep desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others. It was during my soul-searching journey that I stumbled upon an incredible opportunity to volunteer at my uncle’s care home. Little did I know that this experience would become the turning point of my life.

Witnessing the immeasurable joy and profound difference that the dedicated staff brought to the lives of the residents, I had a powerful realization—I had found what I had been yearning for. I knew deep down that this was my calling. With unwavering determination, I took a leap of faith and purchased my first care home in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, at the age of 28 in the summer of 2020, amid a global pandemic (Timing couldn’t have been any worse) Despite the challenges that surrounded us, mine and my team’s commitment to providing quality care to those in need remained firm.

When the pandemic hit, my team faced unimaginable obstacles. We had to work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. I still remember the heart-breaking outbreak that claimed the lives of ten beloved residents within just two weeks. It was a deeply emotional and trying experience that tested our strength and resilience. The tears shed and the sorrow felt by the team and the families of those we lost will forever stay with me. But even in the darkest of moments, we refused to surrender. We rallied together, fuelled by our unwavering determination and love of our residents to provide the best care possible. This humbling journey reminded us of the immense power of teamwork and perseverance.

And today, I am immensely proud to say that we emerged from that challenging period stronger, more united, and more committed to our mission than ever before. “Thank You to all the staff at Prospect House – you were the real heroes”

In early 2023, I took on another endeavour by purchasing my second care home in East Yorkshire, Hull, with a rating of “Requires Improvement.” I knew that turning things around would demand the same level of dedication and hard work as before. Shoulder to shoulder with my exceptional care staff, I dove into the day-to-day operations, giving our all to enhance the care home’s rating. While we eagerly await the inspection, I am confident that the collective efforts of my team will lead us to success.

I am immensely grateful for the unwavering dedication and hard work they bring to our care homes. They are the backbone of our operation, and without them, none of this would have been possible. Their passion for helping others and making a difference continues to inspire me every single day. Now, I find myself eagerly seeking my third care home, excited about the path that lies ahead.

Today, I stand before you, forever transformed by the lessons and experiences that have shaped my journey. I have discovered my true calling in the care home industry—a place where I can make a real, tangible difference in the lives of others. The road hasn’t always been smooth, and challenges still arise, but the rewards far outweigh the struggles. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own story, it’s that sometimes you have to venture into the unknown to find what truly sets your soul on fire. So, if you’re feeling lost or uncertain, take that first step. Trust me, the path may be winding, but the destination is worth every twist and turn.”