By Kate Spear
Welcome to the first Inspirational Futures blog! It’s difficult to know where to start when stepping into the new world of blogging but we thought we’d start with a little bit about our journey as a company so far!
To begin, a little bit about us. The Inspirational Futures team is made up of three amazing, experienced, and knowledgeable (if we do say so ourselves!) teachers from South Wales. We first met whilst working together in a small school in the Welsh Valleys. Myself (Kate) and Jill worked as a job share and Laura worked in the classroom next door to us. We discovered during our years of working together that we all shared a passion for the health and well-being of children.
In the Autumn of 2018 Jill and I took the leap to leave the classroom and embarked on our dream of creating a business focusing on supporting children’s well-being. How hard can it be to run a business? You just create a service and you offer it to people! Little did we know that it would be the start of a whole new chapter of learning for us!
We developed relationships with schools and began to run our well-being workshops in small venues within the community. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 that we discovered the business support we needed when we joined the Welsh ICE 5-9 Club. The 8 week course supported us through the early stages of creating our enterprise and provided us with the business support we needed to get our idea moving.
In the Autumn of 2019 Laura jumped on board with us and we embarked on combining our skills to start creating resources and services that would support the Health and Well-being Area of Learning Experience for the new Curriculum for Wales. Laura has a wealth of knowledge in this area due to her passion for the subject, her training and her experience working as a teacher of children with additional learning needs.
We were excited to be collaborating together and started to discuss how our combined attitude to running a business didn’t really fit the traditional mould of a ‘purely profit making company’, so we turned to Social Business Wales to investigate becoming a not-for-profit social enterprise. That was a whole new mountain to climb!
It was in October 2019 that we pitched our business idea for the first time to UnLtd. UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs – enterprising people with solutions that change society for the better. We were nervous wrecks but were thrilled to find out that we were successful and we became the proud recipients of our first source of funding! 2020 was going to be a fantastic year!! (HA!)
January 2020 was spent preparing and advertising our first Unltd supported, well-being workshops. They ran during February half term with all the spaces selling out! We began to make plans to run workshops during each school holiday as well as after school in a fantastic local venue called Role Play Lane.
At the beginning of March we had some amazing support from Social Business Wales and the Wales Cooperative Centre. We were excited to expand the business and become ‘Inspirational Futures well-being support’ – a not for profit social enterprise.
And then the world stopped!
Everything changed! The world turned on its head and our service and skills suddenly seemed more important than ever before. We decided we needed to put our time, passion and knowledge to use. So, we embarked on ways to support the well-being of children in the ‘new normal.’