An enterprising woman has turned her passion for volunteering into a new business helping others to unlock their potential.
Kelly Oliver Dougall, from Whitley Bay, has launched Cygnet Careers with the help of TEDCO Business Support.
After working in the voluntary sector for 12 years, the 38-year-old decided to help others struggling to find employment or work skills after she was made redundant.
Kelly said: “Volunteering is a very tangible way of enabling individuals to grow and improve, have increased interaction within their communities and, over the course of time, gain the confidence and develop the skills which will stand them in good stead to be able to go on and secure employment.”
Kelly received help off Allison Cowen, business advisor at TEDCO, through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme and provided help and support to get her venture off the ground.
Allison guided Kelly through developing a business plan, marketing advice, networking and establishing clear business objectives.
She said: “It was evident from our first meeting that Kelly is passionate about people and helping develop their career choices and development.
“With a keen desire for supporting people in the local area Kelly has worked exceptionally hard to get her business up and running.
“She has been a pleasure to work with and I know that as time goes on her business will go from strength to strength.”
Since launching Cygnet Careers, Kelly has secured a contract working with Whitley Bay Big Local to help co-ordinate the Big Lottery funded community group’s volunteers as well as working with individuals in the town to develop and improve their own employability skills.
Kelly added: “The New Enterprise Allowance scheme and the support which I received from Allison and TEDCO have been fundamental to me being able to put myself in a position where launching and running my own business is now a reality.
“More and more people and organisations are recognising the range of benefits that being a volunteer and volunteering can bring and I’m looking forward to helping make a significant contribution to growth and community integration in our region.”
For more information on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme or the range of advice available via TEDCO Business Support visit www.tedco.org