With Christmas and New Year upon us, we all need a little help – which is where Friends of Friends and Tansy Boyd come in
The first time I came across Tansy Boyd and her company, Friends of Friends, was at a Chelsea street party. ‘A friend of mine from school has a disease called ataxia, which is a little like motor neurone disease,’ she explains to me when we speak a few weeks after the event.
‘We were all saying how awful it was, but not actually doing anything about it. I thought about running a marathon, but then decided absolutely not, so why don’t I do something that I am relatively competent at, which is throwing a great party.
‘I live on a mews in Chelsea and we have a real community feel here, where everyone sits outside in the street having dinner in the summer – so this was a natural progression from that.’
Community is certainly something that beautifully sums up Friends of Friends. Based predominantly in the Chelsea and Kensington area, they offer bespoke and individual services catering to the needs of everyday family life, from walking dogs to offering assistance at dinner parties.
‘Before I went to university, I was babysitting for lots of different families in the area,’ Boyd looks back to the inspiration behind the company, which she launched over two years ago. ‘As soon as I left for university, they all started ringing me panicking asking for babysitters, dog walks and all those sort of things. I had a lot of friends still in London, so I started setting them all up with each other. It just seemed to make a lot of sense to launch it professionally.’
Anything you want us to do, we will try and work it out. We even play with cats because one of our client’s can’t bear the thought of them being on their own
Boyd made the big decision of turning her back on a degree, but considering how successful Friends of Friends is today it was a gamble that has paid off handsomely. ‘We are very flexible,’ she says on what Friends of Friends offers.
‘Anything you want us to do, we will try and work it out. We literally have jobs where we go and play with a client’s cats for two hours because they can’t bear the thought of them being on their own. There are some days when we are just needed to go and have a kick about in the park with a client’s children.
‘With Christmas here, in terms of catering and drinks parties, it gets super busy. We will even try to find ways to help clients if they have a request for Christmas Day.’
With a team fully CRB checked, Boyd explains that their vetting process is intense. ‘Our core base is 18 to 26-year-olds, guys and girls, who are either on a break from university or who are running their own start ups and just need a little extra cash to keep them going. I like that we can support entrepreneurs,’ she says. ‘They will have a telephone interview and background checks, and then I meet every single helper face to face. I want people who really will go that extra mile and fit in with our clients.’
With a third year in business fast approaching, the future looks bright for Friends of Friends. ‘The feedback has been fantastic,’ Boyd smiles. ‘We are pretty much community based and I know each client pretty well, which is lovely. We can grow quite organically, wherever the market may take us, or wherever the demand is.’ You could say Friends of Friends is streets ahead of the rest.
See friendsoffriendslondon.co.uk or call 020 7460 1424