A Wrea Green business woman has taken the lead role in a new Redrow film offering top tips for making a house move smooth for homeowners and their four-legged friends, 

Alison Gledhill runs the Blackpool and Preston franchise of Barking Mad, a national home from home’ dog sitting service. 

She says: Moving house can be stressful for dogs, with a change in routine and environment, and so much going on with boxes being packed leading up to the move and the moving day itself.

With peoples busy lifestyles, much as they love their dogs – most of whom are very much a member of the family nowadays –  they can be forgotten until the last minute. But there are ways to make it less stressful and to ease the transition into their new home.

Alison is no stranger to change herself. 

She began her business 12 years ago after a career spent working for the Civil Service, for the Benefits Agency and HMRC. Alison says: Maybe it was my mid-life crisis but I hit 40 and wondered whether I wanted to carry on in the Civil Service until I retired, and the answer was no. 

Alison, who has two dogs and a cat herself, had decided she wanted a career change but didn’t know what, until one day when she was looking to buy a book. She says: When I opened the Yellow Pages looking for bookshops it fell open on the Barking Mad page and I thought it sounded interesting. 

I loved the idea and, when I looked further into it, the business locally was up for sale. It all fell into place. 

Now instead of sitting in an office every day, Alison matches host families with those looking for someone to look after their pets while they go away on holiday and transports them from and to their home-from-home. 

I have gone from sitting in a stressful office environment to speaking to people about their dogs and their holidays; Im doing something I love. And the business is doing very well as people prefer to leave their dogs in another family home, being cared for and pampered while they go away. 

Host families are often retired people or widows and widowers who want the companionship of a dog and the pleasure of walking them and looking after them, without taking on the full-time commitment of having one. 

The film was shot in the show home at Redrows Ricksby Grange development, in Wrea Green, which offers a range of four-bedroom family homes from the homebuilders award-winning Heritage Collection, with prices from £299,995. 

Claire Jarvis, sales director for Redrow Homes (Lancashire), said: In the past weve focused on moving home with children but we realise that a lot of our customers have pets too, so thought it would be good to provide them with some help and advice. 

Wrea Green, with its lovely green spaces – including Lancashires largest village green – and the nearby beaches of Lytham St Annes and Blackpool, make it the kind of place that attracts dog owners looking for the perfect place to live, so Ricksby Grange was the ideal filming location.

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.