Cath Arnold (Wirral)

Extra Help – a Helping Hand for Everyone
Video

Extra Help .

  Opportunities:
In the UK
  Business Type:
Franchise
  Minimum Investment:
£12,950
  Training Provided:
Yes
  Home-based:
Yes
  Part time:
Yes

I’ve been in teaching for 25 years. I was lucky. I taught at great schools and for the past 16 years I had a fantastic management job at one of the best schools in the UK. However, with a long time to go until retirement, I felt in need of a change. Teaching has got a lot harder and target driven, and I was working late nights, which was difficult with young children. I wouldn’t find another school where I could enjoy teaching as much as the one I was in- where should I go from there?? I had always encouraged my pupils to step out of their comfort zone and, as a languages teacher, I taught pupils to step into the wider world and experience new cultures. So it was time for me and my mid-life self to practise what I preached! I met Carol through a yoga class, we started having coffee afterwards, and after a while we talked about running a business together. She had run businesses previously and we felt our experience would complement each other’s. We also both have young children, so we thought that working together would suit us well. We looked at several franchises but liked ‘Extra Help’ as soon as we came across it. Its values felt right from the outset and we liked the idea that you could build the business to suit, depending on our area. We can offer a number of different services under the one umbrella. I wanted to be able to keep up some teaching, too, so being able to offer tuition was a positive. We attended a really useful training course in July and then we set up Extra Help Wirral in September. This was certainly out of my comfort zone, it was all new to me- but it felt so right! I quickly settled into meeting potential new staff and new clients and sharing their life experiences. It has been so enriching to meet so many different clients, and we have already been able to make a difference to people’s daily lives. I am learning so much from this new venture. It feels very ‘me’, Extra Help ‘sits right’ for me. It’s not always easy. We have had some challenging cases, but that is part of the learning experience- and I did want to step out of that comfort zone!! Ultimately it is rewarding as we always make that small difference. I am certainly learning to see people differently as I spend time with older people and hear of their life experiences. It’s a real eye-opener and I really am enjoying meeting so many different people. I still teach one day a week so I still get that contact, and I do one-to-one tutoring, which I have always enjoyed. I was nervous about taking that initial step. Excited, but nervous, as it was a leap of faith. But I know that it was the right step to make and I look forward to developing the business along with Carol. We have found that running the business together does work well for us. We can cover each other and look after each other’s children as needed, and we both share the ‘Extra Help’ values, which make the service stand out.

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