A married couple intent on putting care workers at the forefront of their business have explained why the company has thrived so quickly.

Amanda Fountain set up Plum Care in Bromley last year and claimed the prize for best day care expertise at the National Home Care Awards in May.

She wanted to tackle the social care crisis in Bromley by starting Plum Care with the aim of putting the needs of staff first.

Amanda, a registered care manager of 10 years in health and social care, told News Shopper previous companies she worked for were infamous for exploiting staff.

"If staff are engaged, motivated and supported, they will offer better services for customers," Amanda told News Shopper.

"They are more likely to stay longer and actually stay in care where this is a high turnover."

She said Plum Care looks for "kind-hearted" workers first, rather than experienced employees.

"I’ve seen Panorama," Amanda joked. "Just because you are experienced doesn’t mean you are kind."

Staff are paid above the minimum wage and get £12 per hour and carers also get 10 per cent of profits shares.

After a three-month contract they are offered a salary rather than having to remain on a zero hours contract. Part time positions also offered to encourage a healthy balance between work and personal life.

Plum Care currently supports 18 customers and Amanda said she was "gobsmacked" at winning big at the National Home Care awards last month.

"People keep saying the business is amazing, but this is how it should be run," she said. "This is normal. Companies should be focused on taking care of staff.

"They offer so much of themselves to customers and they need to feel like we've got their back."

She added: "We never thought for a minute we would actually win an award."

Plum Care helps with personal care, household jobs, meal preparation, medication, appointments or just companionship.

They operate throughout Bromley - a borough with an ageing population.

One woman, who suffered from isolation and a lack of confidence before seeking help from Plum Care, said her life has changed for the better.

"I can’t thank them enough for giving me back my confidence and opening up my world to new opportunities and friendship," she said.

"It’s made such a difference for me, I can continue to do the things I’ve always enjoyed and live my life again with the help of my kind care."