Wubbleyou Logo

MyFolks Ltd

In 2019, Louise Thompson was living in the South of England, with elderly parents in the North. While struggling to care for them, work full-time, and try and keep a little of her life, she had an idea to create a 'Compassionate concierge'. The service would provide support to the elderly at short notice, allowing small tasks (such as shopping or fixing household items) to be completed by DBS-check, kindly 'MyFolksers'. This would relieve pressure from family members who didn't live close by, or who had other commitments.


This was an exciting and worthwhile project, but needed psychological safety on both sides to ensure the ability to challenge each other and complete the project.

  • Timing- We had 6 months to do the project from a standing start
  • Communication- We had to work closely with the investors to ensure that they were on board with how to project was progressing
  • Detail- Louise had a good idea of the big picture, but we had to talk through the smaller details to make the building blocks of the app
  • Risk- There were two different portals- one for the customer, and one for the MyFolksers. Launching both at the same time would have been risky, so we adopted a two-phased approach to manage the launch


The app is now live and running.

  • We developed a clickable prototype quickly and at an early stage, which enabled Louise to get feedback from the National Innovation Centre for Aging and Age UK
  • The creation of the app means that MyFolks has become a live service
  • The app is already revenue-generating within a year of launching
  • Users of the app have been able to find reliable people to fulfil tasks for them that would have otherwise been for families to manage
  • The recruitment of MyFolksers has got people back into work who may have struggled otherwise, under terms which suit them
  • The app won the 'People's Choice' Award at the NICA Awards in December 2023

Louise Thompson, Founder and Director - MyFolks Ltd

Wubbleyou understood the importance of pace. They built a really high quality clickable prototype in a couple of months from a standing start; we were able to test this and this allowed the development to progress at the pace we needed.

What was your original idea and what inspired it?

I was born in Benwell, so I’m local to the north east. I’ve had a varied career. I worked at the Freeman hospital, I then did a law degree, and from there left Newcastle and worked in the Legal/Commercial Depts in blue-chip tech companies for 30 years.

In about 2019, I was living in the South, but my parents got ill in the north east. I was up and down the M1, trying to provide support for them so they could stay their own home. My brother and I were working together, but we couldn’t manage it. It was the little problems which we couldn’t keep up with. For example, my dad would call and say the TV was broken, but it wasn’t actually broken, he was just confused. But I couldn’t explain that to him over the phone.

 I was becoming very stressed. I called it ‘the triangle of hell’- my personal and professional lives were suffering, and I didn’t feel like I could meet my parents’ needs. My parents were in a retirement complex, with one bedroom, so there was nowhere for me to sleep when I visited – I slept on the living room floor so I was sleep deprived too.

 I woke up one day and knew I needed to change something. I googled to find someone who could just pop and see them for little things (if they needed food for example). Help was available through social care of course. But I wanted the kind of help that was more immediate and practical, and I couldn’t find anything.

I had an idea to create a compassionate concierge. I wanted people to be able to find help for their elderly relatives quickly and easily, for things which wouldn’t require social care (like their TVs breaking!). I also wanted it to be easy for people to sign-up, on both sides – those who need the service and those who provide it, who we have termed “Myfolksers”. I wanted the work to be attractive to people, so I knew it would need to be well-paid, flexible and open to everyone (I’m proud to say that I have maintained this! All you need to be a MyFolkser is to be compassionate and DBS checked).

The name for the service came to me immediately- I knew I wanted to call it ‘MyFolks’. I don’t have an entrepreneurial background, so I was unsure how to proceed with my idea. At this stage, I was still working full-time at exec level and I didn’t plan on leaving my job. But I wanted to pursue the idea.

I got involved with Founders’ Fridays, established by Paul Lancaster, to float the idea with some people. I decided that I wanted to launch the service in the north east, just because it felt more manageable. I also got involved with the Innovation Super Network in 2019. Their accelerator program was for the aging sphere, because it is well recognised that we are being challenged by our population that is aging but not aging well. They were really interested in the concept, and so I got onto the accelerator program! Then it felt like it could really happen.

The pandemic meant I had to pause the project for a while. But post-lockdown, I realised I had to prioritise it. There was so much demand for health and social care that couldn’t be met.  Late in 2022, I decided it was time to do it.

At what point did you need a software partner, and why did you choose Wubbleyou?

I knew from the beginning that I needed a software partner, as I have no technical expertise. One Founders’ Friday, Paul Lancaster made my introduction to Wubbleyou, and we arranged a meeting.

 I met Mark and we had a good scope of what the project might look like. He really got into my head about it. He engaged in a pre-sales activity at a level which I really appreciated, and I trusted him. I realised then that if I got the opportunity to build the app, I would definitely choose Wubbleyou to develop the software, based on what I had seen him do. 

A mutual connection introduced me to Capita. They were interested in what the future would look like for communities, and they have a strong corporate social responsibility agenda. So MyFolks fitted, and we’ve established a Collaboration Agreement. This partnership accelerated the project, and I could then work with Wubbleyou. 

I told Capita that I wanted to work with Wubbleyou, as I trusted Mark very early on. Capita hadn’t heard of Wubbleyou, and understandably wanted to explore their credentials. I had asked myself the same question in the beginning! What helped was their contract with Department for Education. I saw that they had been through due diligence. I knew they had authenticity and had worked with large projects. This meant we knew we could trust them, and luckily, Capita endorsed my choice after a couple of discovery sessions.

What did Wubbleyou do for you?

Firstly, Mark and the Wubbleyou team brought Capita along from the very start of the journey. This meant that everyone got aligned on how we were scoping the project.. The ideation of the product was done together, and it became a three-way collaboration.

Secondly, whilst I could see the big picture of the build, I needed help to see the layers and steps underneath. Vincent (Business Analyst) helped me to envisage it. I could see it at high level, and he asked me questions which made me think about developing the app at a low level, which was so helpful.

Thirdly (and perhaps most importantly), Wubbleyou understood the importance of pace. They built a really high quality clickable prototype in a couple of months from a standing start; we were able to test this and this allowed the development to progress at the pace we needed.

This also meant we could go to market early and get feedback. We were able to approach The Voice, who are a group of people working with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing. They have an interest in testing the viability of solutions designed to benefit elders and others. They provided us with invaluable insights, which helped us to understand the user-journey thoroughly, and reduce any risks.

Mark’s team put a huge amount into learning how the product would work in practice.

How has the partnership helped you achieve your strategy/goals?

We needed the app to be the company we envisaged! Without the app, MyFolks wouldn’t exist. The pace of the app development meant that we were first on the market with a digital concierge app and Wubbleyou helped ensure that the app is accessible, intuitive and secure.

What barriers or challenges did Wubbleyou help you to overcome?

Some of the testers raised concerns about protection of personal data. But luckily, we could reassure them that the security was built-in and had been checked rigorously.

One of the lessons we learnt at the end was about the use language around the site, and the tone. As we prepared to launch we realised the language was too stark. We both learnt the value of agreeing the tone! We helped each other with that, and it’s something we can both take forward in the future.

Because we were launching so quickly, to minimise risk we adopted a two-phase approach. Firstly, we launched the customer portal, where people could register and book visits. We managed the back end manually. 2 months later, Wubbleyou completed the MyFolkser portal, which allowed those providing the service to make their bookings. The two-phased approach allowed us to start. The full end-to-end solution was launched in November.

There were of course some challenges when it went live. But the strength of our relationship meant that we could sort it out together. Good things came out of the lessons learnt. We were able to challenge and push each other, in a very safe way. It was very much a collaboration.

What results did Wubbleyou help you to generate?

We got product launched within 6 months from a standing start. That was no mean feat! Because of that, we have had users and MyFolksers on the platform early on, and the product is already revenue generating.

In addition, we attended the NICA awards in December, and we won the People’s Choice Award. I was delighted! For the product to be award-winning already is something I couldn’t have hoped for. Mark also came to support us at the awards, which was lovely.

Mark Renney, Director - Wubbleyou

Working with Louise and the MyFolks team has been insightful and humbling.  The problem the app solves is systemic, and one we will likely all face in our lifetime.  Every person I tell about the app says ‘I need to sign up for that service’, which speaks for itself.  The relationship is psychologically safe and positive challenge in both directions is strong – creating a revenue generating quality product in such a short timeframe is not easy, but we did that together here!

What do you think people should know about working with Wubbleyou?

They know their stuff! They are so trustworthy and ethical. And they involve you in the development. Wubbleyou did show and tell development videos, which allowed me to share things with Capita and my team members. This meant that people could understand how it was coming along.

 In addition, they challenge! But in a good way. For example, I had set a very ambitious target number of users for my first year. Mark rightly challenged me on it, which helped manage my expectations a little!

What is coming next for your project?

The app is still in its infancy, but we want to go national and international. We’ve achieved fantastic things already, but to help as many people as we can, we need more users!

My motivation for the existence of the app has also evolved. My first context was that I needed to keep my elderly in their own homes. From working with NICA , I have realised that isolation is becoming a huge issue in our society. MyFolks helps to address this problem and can have a big impact.  So MyFolks now fits into a bigger ideology. Everyday, I work to build a community.

How do you see your relationship with Wubbleyou evolving in the future?

We have a support contract so Wubbleyou can ensure that the app is safe and running. We’re also pursuing some grant funding, depending on how that goes, we’ll be able to scale quicker. We’re also at the early stages of developing a machine learning solution!

But this relationship will always be there. I feel very lucky to have been introduced to Wubbleyou.

Let's work together

Contact us now to
start your next project

Get Started