FAIRVIEW FARM… PROVIDING A FAIR VIEW FOR ALL
13th September 2017
I’m Georgina and 4 months ago I decided to hand my notice in. Was this because I had a dull, low paid job which offered no stimulation? No. Was this because I was soon to be married to a handsome and incredibly rich man who would lavish me with gifts? Well yes to the handsome husband but sadly no to the rich bit. Was this because I had some mad and crazy idea that with no money, no experience, no professional support and quite frankly no clue, I decided to set up my own business? Yes!
Having worked incredibly hard to gain my formal qualifications as an adult with four young children, I began my career as a teacher. I quickly reached the dizzy heights of management and earned myself a bucket load of respect from my teams and a fabulous reputation. The pay was great, I had a sexy title and a lovely tidy pension, I got to wear nice shoes and the people I worked with were all amazing.
Then it occurred to me….so what? I will need to work for another 15 years at least: creating spreadsheets, being profound and witty, yet insightful and intelligent, at endless meetings and don’t even get me started on emails…so what?
So literally overnight, I decided to set up a day care provision for young people with disabilities, using the arts as one way to develop confidence and social skills with my young people. I have seen the benefits of the arts on many marginalised or disadvantaged people through my work in prisons and having worked in the Special Needs sector in Suffolk for a few years, I reckoned I could make a difference. Not to thousands of people, not to hundreds of people but to someone. That’s all…I can make a difference to someone. That’s enough.
So, I toddled along to the launch of Starteast with my crisp new entrepreneurial notebook and shiny pen. Oh my word…I was so excited when I came out, so inspired, so, well … just so ready!
I signed myself up and as soon as I finished my job I began attending some workshops and my 1:1 sessions. I really wanted to focus on the business side, I felt confident in my ability to do many things but was fully aware that, despite my long evenings with GOOGLE, I had huge gaps in my knowledge around business planning, accounting and financial forecasting and this worried me.
To be honest I had not been entirely confident how helpful the sessions would be. I was worried that I would lose control of the way I wanted to do things. I was also extremely worried that the advisors would think I was stupid or mad (or both) and that I wouldn’t understand what they were trying to tell me.
So, the advisors have been not just incredibly knowledgeable and experienced, as you would expect, they really listened to what I needed to get out of the session. I really felt I steered the meetings even though it was clear they could tell what I needed support with. It’s hard to explain, it just worked. We used the time to work through some stuff, rather than leaving it to me to do alone having forgotten everything. I was then able to go away and continue in my own time before sharing it at the next session.
I have produced my business plan and financial forecast which is highly detailed and whilst initially daunted, I now feel absolutely over the moon. Not only do I have a fully comprehensive understanding of my business finances but I have a tool to use moving forward and a fit for purpose document to share (which bizarrely others seem to understand!).
I do believe this support has been invaluable to me. The advisors have obviously been extremely carefully selected and Fairview Farm will definitely be a stronger place because of the new knowledge and confidence I have.
Owner and Founder of Fairview
Fairview Farm is a day provision for young people aged 16 – 30 who have disabilities or difficulties.
Set on our small holding, in a beautiful location, Fairview Farm believes young people with disabilities deserve more.
We offer bespoke programmes to meet individual needs and through a range of activities each day, we aim to develop academic ability, increase independence and social skills and broaden employability opportunities and confidence.