Through the years I have done many things, worked in many different areas and run several of my own businesses in Africa – having then lost all homes, businesses, farms to the Zimbabwean Government. Being British and having family here, it was the obvious place to come back to live, but starting again from nothing is not easy.
My biggest passion in life has always been health and fitness. From the time I could walk I was dancing and from infant school already playing most sports. I trained in the early 80s as an aerobics instructor, teaching for many years. By early 90s I had trained as a Personal Trainer, helping others to transform their lives, which I had become even more driven to do. I always wanted my clients to get the best of not only themselves but their lives too – I wanted to give the whole package.
Health issues lead to health courses
In November 2007 my life changed overnight when I had a brain haemorrhage and ended up being almost bed ridden for a year, and in a wheel chair almost another further year and then being diagnosed with SLE Lupus. To this day I have not been well and in and out of hospital. My active lifestyle is no longer – every time I try to go back to gym or do any form of exercise I end back in hospital.
It was after this I decided I needed to do something in place of all the other things I used to do. I had also started doing care work. In this time I did my BTEC and NVQs in Health and Social Care and as my health had improved slightly I joined the NHS as a Health Care Assistant, but I was still yearning to do more, learn more. I wanted to get my nursing degree but wasn’t well enough. I then thought of doing psychology at Chester University and was accepted but didn’t take it up due to being unwell again.
It was at this time I came across BSY and thought I would start studying things I was interested in and was really happy I was able to do this in my own time from home with great and easy payment options too, and while I was still working.
As I had been a personal trainer I still wanted to do something in that field, and something that could possibly help me in my work as a HCA. It was also a fantastic bonus that BSY were offering 2-1 courses. So because I had done nutrition in my gym certification I decided to do Nutrition and Weight Management, and chose Life Coaching for the 2nd choice; very excited to be able to get a Diploma in this after so many years.
Not happy with just gaining Level 3, I wanted to further this and so next course was Nutrition Level 4 and Health and Lifestyle Practitioner. At this time I started approaching different departments in the hospital for vacancies in areas I had studied – long-term illnesses, dietetics, etc. I was offered a permanent contract in Sexual Health, where I am still working almost three years later. I love my job and it overflows into many other areas – substance misuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, homelessness, sexual abuse and rape amongst others. It’s interesting and varied, but I wanted to do more, get more involved in more areas and issues.
So the next two courses I chose was the NLP Life Skills and CBT Therapy. Whilst working in the HIV clinics, I was asked by the Counsellors from Body Positive if I would become a Trustee for them. I said I would do this if I could in return start doing some voluntary Counselling for them with HIV clients.
This was when I decided to do the BSY Specialist Counsellor Course, with the intention of doing more Counselling and possibly my own work role. Because I chose another 2:1 offer I decided to do the Specialist Yoga Diploma, as because of all my own health issues and because I had started doing Yoga I knew this would help me and others. I intend to incorporate all of these to help others and become more involved with Counselling and helping others.
If it wasn’t for home study I would not have been able to achieve any of this. Being able to do this while being ill has kept me from getting depressed, staying motivated and remaining positive for my future. A big thank you to BSY and ABCC.