After decades of fruitful work, Amanda Wheeler (59) was devastated when ill-health forced her to give up her taxi driving business. Four frustrating years on benefits followed and she became sceptical that she would never be able to break away from benefits to become financially independent once more. She was referred to our PeoplePlus branch in Brighton on the Work Programme and the support she received means that Amanda has successfully established a brand new venture for herself.
Amanda always had a passion for teaching and had previously qualified in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She’d often thought of starting her own business again, one that would create a lasting impact in the community and allow her to enjoy the freedom to make her own decisions but lacked the confidence to take the first step.
That all changed when Amanda was referred to us on the Work Programme. She received the support of an Enterprise Advisor who believed that self-employment as a teacher seemed like a natural choice for her. The governing factor was that running her own business meant Amanda could choose her working environment to suit her health needs as well as making the most of her teaching skills.
The regular meetings with her Enterprise Advisor were a stepping stone for Amanda to get her started with her new business. She received the right guidance to complete all the paperwork to register the business, plus support on accounting and general administration. As Amanda started teaching English to small groups and individuals, her confidence grew.
Amanda said, “I am very grateful for the amazing support I received from my advisor at PeoplePlus. I thought it was impossible but PeoplePlus' consistent support, knowledge and encouragement has made it a happy and productive experience for me. I feel very optimistic and know that, whatever problems come up, I have solid and well-informed back up at PeoplePlus to help me - which is invaluable.”
Amanda now intends to offer hope to others. Her business plan includes moving into her own premises as well as employing at least five people in the running and development of her school.