Staff throw surprise party for Brierfield care agency owner to celebrate 21st birthday of business she built from scratch
and live on Freeview channel 276
Astra Care Services Ltd was established in 2001 by Suzanne Black and her late mum, Chrissie Hargreaves.
Suzanne had care work experience and Chrissie had admin skills and they began in a little office in Northbridge House in Burnley with one client and two carers.
Within three months the company was thriving and today the business, now based in Brierfield, employs 120 staff and has 310 clients across Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale. Sadly, Chrissie died in 2018.
The surprise party at Bertram's restaurant in Burnley was organised by Quality Assurance Manager Sam Rafiq and her colleagues.
Sam said: "We wanted to show our appreciation to Suzanne. This is a great company to work for, I have been here for 18 years and now my daughter works for the company.
"Suzanne really cares about her staff and the clients. We all received a £200 bonus at Christmas and £60 vouchers also."
Although from Burnley Suzanne attended the former Edge End High School in Nelson.
Very much a family affair Suzanne's daughter Alysia and other family members now work for the company and her dad, Alan Hargreaves, steps in as Father Christmas at the annual parties thrown for staff and their families.
Suzanne (55) said: "I feel so proud of what we have built up. We take a real pride in what we do and I believe the pandemic has highlighted what valuable work carers do."