Thelma Turner – a specialist carer


Posted on November 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Executive status symbols can take many forms, but the “Carpet Underlay Test” is surely one of the more beguiling. When Thelma Turner first set up a business of her own (“at an age most of my friends were thinking of retiring . . . within three months of my 50th birthday”), it was financed by selling her house. She combined the proceeds with a severance package to buy an old farmhouse for conversion into a home for adults with learning disabilities. Builders’ bills needed to be kept to a minimum, so Thelma moved in to do a lot of the sanding and scraping herself. “I lived there for a month. There was no heating, and no hot water,” said Thelma. “I was sleeping in a sleeping bag on carpet underlay, and going down to the pub every so often for a jug of hot water. This is the glamour of entrepreneurship.” Thelma recruited two fellow managers, who also moved in with their sleeping bags. “The theory was that your seniority in the company was reflected in how many layers of underlay you got to sleep on – it became a





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