Setting up a project on your own is an incredible challenge and over the past few months I have also been faced with a major personal obstacle to overcome. As the first day of the SSE course beckoned I was stuck at home trying to get used to being in a wheelchair. Despite the huge amount of work and excitement that had gone into setting up my project and in applying for the SSE course I was questioning whether I could really make it happen. I am so glad I kept with it because just a week later and after a really enjoyable first few days ‘at school’ I am smiling, excited and back to my usual self, plotting, planning and dreaming of the future.
Over the past year I have been setting up a successful social enterprise, First Aid 4 Everyone. Providing affordable and accessible First Aid courses and a peer training project for parents and young people in North London, this is about First Aid ‘at home’ and ‘in communities’. The project aims to break down the barriers that many people have in accessing First Aid courses by making them local, accessible and affordable. Targeting those most at risk or in need, the courses are designed to promote confidence, wellbeing and essentially to reduce injuries and save lives. The friendly and creative approach to First Aid training means we not only save lives but also help to develop communities.
As a local parent and First Aid instructor with over 15 years experience of youth and community management, service development and provision, I knew I had the skills, values and passion to make the project a success. The challenge I faced was the isolation of trying to do it on my own and a definite need for support and guidance on the business side of things. This was what I was hoping to get from the SSE course and I can honestly say that friendly SSE team and the inspirational group of people I will be working alongside have exceeded every expectation.
I was recently told by Junior Smart (an alumni of the SSE) “persistence always overcomes resistance” and as I now sit at my desk developing my Business Canvas Model an excited smile is growing at the thought of working with and sharing the next year of the course with such an amazing group of social entrepreneurs. The road ahead looks incredibly bright. Challenges now feel like opportunities and I am confident the social impact of First Aid 4 Everyone will both save and change lives for the children, families and young people of North London and beyond.
This post is written by Emily Wood, Founder of First Aid 4 Everyone. Emily is a student on the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in London.
- Follow Emily on twitter: @FirstAid4every1
- Check out their new website to find out more: www.FirstAid4Everyone.org
- like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/FirstAid4Everyone
- To get in contact with Emily Wood, the founder of First Aid 4 Everyone please check out her personal website www.EmilyWood.org