Our company, accentuate, is committed to supporting others. Last year we did this through a diverse range of services, programmes and projects. This included projects developing resources for training providers and EPAOs, implementing programmes that helped others start of on their business start up journeys, supporting the development of careers advisors, delivering courses in English, Maths, Time Management, Self-Employment, Health and Safety, Employability, Diversity and Inclusion and much more. We also supported many individuals complete their Apprenticeship programmes, by conducting End Point Assessments in Leadership and Management.
One of the key values of accentuate is a commitment to a supportive and nurturing focus on the growth of our customers – Individual learners, employers and organisations. Indeed, this can be demonstrated one of our key graphics – our ‘Education Tree’. All of our work in 2021 was aligned to the support, development and growth of our customers.
2021 was a successful year for accentuate, we were profitable in our first year of trading and we built a wide range of new and existing working relationships. Also, as part of our reflection on last year, we identified that what gives us most satisfaction in our working lives is supporting others and ourselves. We are now fully self-employed, so Beccy and I have to support each other in work and life. Moving forward we want to apply our values and focus to both the knowledge and skills development of the people we work with, but we also want to nurture a positive approach to mental and physical wellbeing through our support. We want to do things we are passionate about and we want to continue to apply these principles to ourselves (a nurturing focus on well-being, progression and growth).
As a demonstration of my commitment to the values of my organisation, I am just about to embark on a new course of learning, in an area I have only rudimentary knowledge and skills at present. On the 13th January I start the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture at Shuttleworth College – learning how to look after, grow and nurture plants and the soil.
So why am I doing a Gardening course? And how does this relate to the work we do at accentuate?
Another significant milestone for us last year was securing a home. This home has the office space needed to continue working and it also includes a large garden, a bit of a blank page at the moment, but a nice big bit of open space for us to grow…
I have always had a passion for the outdoors, and have wanted to be better at gardening, but never really had the knowledge or the time. I want to create a space that provides a calm oasis, promotes physical and mental wellness, but also is productive providing fresh locally produced food.
Living and breathing our personal and company values – demonstrating the same commitment to ourselves that we show to others. I see the garden as a place to nurture our wellbeing, to learn new skills, to become more patient with ourselves and the world around us, and to become more mindful of the natural changes of the seasons.
This course also demonstrates my personal commitment to being a lifelong learner – this will the 17th formal qualification I have worked towards within my working life! I attend college on a Thursday morning, so this also demonstrates how being self employed benefits me. I have the flexibility to take on the right amount of work to give me the space to explore new areas of interest and see what opportunities arise from these. Beccy is also benefitting from this flexibility and currently completing her counselling qualifications (again focused on wellbeing of others) – she’ll be posting about this very soon.
I also see this journey as being linked to other areas that I am interested in. Concerns around climate change, the climate crisis and thoughts of sustainability have influenced my choice. I recognise that much more can be done, but I am ever mindful of reusing and recycling materials wherever possible to reduce my carbon footprint. Indeed, as part of this journey I am going to share my ‘tales from the compost bin…’ in a regular diary post.
As mentioned above, I have always had a passion for the outdoors, and my interest in the wildlife that can be found in our garden grows everyday. And Beccy and I both love to cook good food and we want to eat delicious food that is nutritious and as sustainably sourced as possible. I hope that this journey also nurtures and grows these interests. We may even start to share some recipes with you ?
My initial motivator for completing this course is personal development, my desire to make the most of my garden and to tread a little more lightly on this precious earth. But considering my previous and diverse work experience, who know what the future holds for accentuate! Knowing how learning has provided me with new opportunities in the past, I am very excited about where this journey is going ?
I am ready to go! I got some excellent Christmas presents (books and jotas related to gardening), and subscribed to Gardeners World magazine. And I plan to regularly post the successes and lessons learnt of this journey – I hope you’ll join me on this new journey of learning…
P.S. I am also a bit of a Lego geek, hence the pic…