A dog-lover who spent 40 years working in the movie industry turned a passion for pooches into a business plan after being made redundant.
Philip Griffin, who lives in Glenalla Road, Ruislip, with his wife Valerie and his 11-year-old red setter Rosie, said he has always loved dogs – and now he has launched a dog walking business.
The 64-year-old started his career in films with Universal Film Laboratory based in Ruislip in 1973. In 1990 he joined Technicolor Film Services where he stayed for 16 years before moving on to Deluxe Laboratories in Denham.
In January, after more than 40 years of working with film he was made redundant from Deluxe, and felt his career had come to an end.
“Working in film is a young person’s career,” he said.
“I knew a few people and applied to a few jobs, but I was too old and my skills weren’t needed now that the industry is moving into digital.
“There weren’t any jobs for me. I signed on in February, and I just thought ‘I have the opportunity now to get out and do something that I love’.”
After volunteering with the Dog’s Trust in Harefield, Mr Griffin was inspired to turn his love of his four-legged friends into a new job.
“I thought I could start my own dog walking business, I discussed it at the job centre and they said it sounded great. We started drawing up a business plan, submitted it and I was accepted for the New Enterprise Allowance.”
The New Enterprise Alliowance (NEA) is a Government scheme which provides money and support to people who want to start their own business.
It is organised by the JobCentre Plus and you have to be aged 18 or over, have a business idea and receive one of three benefits, either Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support as a lone parent or Employment and Support Allowance, if you are in the work-related activity group.
The NEA is supported by entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den success story Levi Roots and without it, Mr Griffin said he would not have been able to set up Phil’s Dog Walking.
“Without the financial support I wouldn’t have been able to spend the time to put together my business plan, launch the business and create the website and promotional material, because I would have had to have spent my time working to make ends meet,” he said.
Mr Griffin’s business charges £10 for an hour’s walk. To have a dog looked after for the whole day it costs £20.
To find out more about Phil’s Dog Walking visit the website www.philsdogwalking.com, email him at email@example.com or call Mr Griffin on 07929 260 198.