As a single parent who has been for many years looking after my son with autism, the prospects of getting back into the community let alone to work, seemed daunting. At the same time, I felt I had skills to offer and lived with the frustration and feeling I had potential but could do little more than use my skills in as a variety of hobbies.
I first heard of tree Shepherd via a friend who had been on the course. I noted how well she was doing in setting up her business and I soon applied for the next available enterprise course with Tree Shepherd, and thus began what was for me a journey of self-discovery of my skills and abilities. Tree Shepherd made me think and look at things about myself in a different and positive light.
I found Tree Shepherd’s Enterprise business course to be skilfully presented and a particularly pleasant learning pace which felt easily accessible but at the same time was both stimulating and interesting. The course was informative enjoyable and hours went quickly. Not once did I find I was clock watching or bored. Instead the course has helped me to marry ideas and skills into a plan, to set goals, as well as helping me to nurture and grow my aspirations into achievements.
I observe that Tree shepherd not only plays a vital part in helping people in the community to set up their own business, but also recognises and gives hope to the many long term unemployed or those like myself who through no fault of their own have found themselves in circumstances where work and business seemed only accessible to other people. I would say that Tree Shepherd most definitely plays an important role to local people of Lambeth and serves to fills a gap in the community by helping everyday people to recognise and form their skills into their own businesses.
Without Tree Shepherd I would still be sitting in doors touching up photos and learning adobe programs with no specific reason but to have hundreds of creative images and designs purposelessly sitting on a hard drive gathering dust. Now for the first time in years I have experienced confidence to be back out there. I feel that I have a future to invest my work into. This has given me hope, faith, and a means to go forward.
Tree Shepherd members also now run a networking group ‘Lambeth Forest Network’, (LFN), (originally run by Tree Shepherd, but now run by its members). Presently meetings take place once a month. I find this to be very useful in terms of business networking as well as informative talks and discussions, sharing and learning from each other and gaining trade exchange and agreements in a pleasant and enjoyable social setting. I have learnt that everyone has something different to offer, which is very intriguing and encouraging.
During the beginning of the newly formatted LFN, I put in for creating the LFN logo, and since then have undertaken matching business cards and flyers. It feels great to see my designs out there instead of sitting on a hard drive gathering dust. This has further encouraged me to continue studying and learning as I go, and to seek out newer and better perfections of my design ability and works.
I would like to thank Tree Shepherd for helping me to feel confident and to encourage me to recognise my skills and talents and put them into a package that can make a mark out there. “Many thanks Tree Shepherd