A career change was an incredibly brave step for Knowsley resident Glenys Taylor, but having taken a 10 week counselling course at St Helens College she was “bitten by the bug” and knew this was the path for her.
Glenys had worked for 13 years in Childcare, a job she thoroughly enjoyed. However, she realised that as she was getting older she couldn’t lift and carry the children like she used to and with the changing economy perhaps it was time to consider other options.
When a dear friend was taken ill with a heart condition, Glenys and her husband looked after her and would spend time just chatting things through with her. It was this friend who asked Glenys if she had ever considered a career in counselling, having found comfort in their conversations.
Glenys completed her first 10 week course at St Helens College with lecturer Pat Fairhurst, and realised she had found her new passion. She then went on to further training working up to a Diploma in Counselling. Glenys believes in the benefits of continual learning and is as a result currently studying up to Level 5 in Counselling at Cheshire Therapy Centre.
Describing her training as a “personal journey” Glenys said “It was time for a change. I had given so much to the children I had worked with, it was time to do something for me, something I loved – and that was counselling. I am a different person. It’s made me take stock of me. It was not just a change of job, but a change of me completely. My priorities have changed, it’s amazing really. I don’t put as much stress on myself anymore.” She reflected on what she has learned saying “Really in counselling – If you can’t understand yourself, you can’t understand your clients.”
Glenys was directed to The Women’s Organisation for business start up support and said of her experience:
“Working with The Women’s Organisation really helped me. I had someone to look over my business plan to help me to gain £500 grant funding from Knowsley Fresh Start which allowed me to get business items such as leaflets. Doing this helped me to look at things I hadn’t thought of, step back and look at the bigger picture in more detail and make it more professional. My business adviser helped me to think of other places to try and other suggestions for how to promote my business. I also had support from someone at The Women’s Organisation in organising my business bank account. Through their network of contacts they got me an early appointment with a business banking manager and everything was set up really quickly. It’s great that they have contacts that we can utilise. The support hasn’t been pressurised in any way. They have been there as and when I’ve needed the help.”
Alongside setting up her business, Glenys works as a Counsellor for Age UK’s ‘Trust Matters’ Counselling Service which offers free counselling to those over 50 in St Helens who are affected by anxiety, stress, loss to name but a few. Other issues include issues relating to a Stroke or Parkinson’s. She is thoroughly enjoying this work and looks forward to one day specialising in working with children and families, Parkinson’s and Stroke issues.
“The best thing about running my own business is watching it grow. What started out as a comment from a friend led to me doing a course, to setting up and building a client base. I feel the excitement of the idea of getting myself really established. When you have ideas like how you would like your business cards or leaflets, and then you see them printed with your name on it, it gives you a real buzz.”
Glenys has enrolled as a member in The Women’s Organisation Business Club and said of the organisation “It is good to know that you have support behind you. I have already told some of my friends to get in contact with the likes of The Women’s Organisation and Fresh Start. There is plenty of help out there if you just ask.” The support Glenys felt from family, friends, course tutors, her coordinator – Paul Chadwick at Age UK, and other counsellors and colleagues has been fantastic. “There were times when I though I couldn’t do it and they reminded me that I could. It is a new way of life and a new me” she concluded. It’s never too late to change your life.
Based in Knowsley, Care2Talk offers Person Centred Counselling services and Glenys can be reached for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org, 07540 199225 or through www.mootu.com/glenystaylor where you can access counselling services using Skype.
And if you feel inspired by Glenys’ story to get help and advice around setting up your own business then contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111/0161 833 8800, email@example.com or visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk