As a child I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was adamant throughout high school and into college that I wanted to be a children’s nurse. My mind was made up until I got to 18 and started to look round Universities and everything changed. From this point on, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.
To begin with I got a job at a playgroup that was run out of my church. This closed not long after I started and I went on to run a breakfast and after school club in a primary school and then became a TA and continued down that road for a time. For a while I had an idea that I wanted to open my own nursery with wrap around school provision so went to do a degree to help with this. When I got to the end of this I had once again changed my mind having worked out a business plan. I was slightly directionless and fed up with just ‘going through the motions’ of working. I left my job and my home and went on a gap year with a church in Watford, with the hope that this would help me decide what I wanted to do next.
After my gap year, I came back home and went into another TA role in a primary school. This job wasn’t the job I left before my gap year. The school I was in wasn’t what I needed and I struggled, being unhappy in the role. At this point I was a little lost with where to take my life and my church leader suggested that I take up a place on the blossom programme. I hadn’t heard of it before so was a bit sceptical, but also knew I needed to do something to be able to change direction.
I started the course and had no idea what to expect. I enjoyed the group sessions and the fact that I could see that I wasn’t the only one not knowing what I was doing. For me however, the best part was the coaching sessions.
My coach seemed to understand me from the start. She was encouraging and supportive.
Through the coaching I was really challenged to think about what I wanted to change in my life and how that would look. Although there were a few things I wanted to change, the first step was my career. Going into coaching I was determined that I didn’t want to do anymore studying. However, after writing a ‘career wish list’ it was very clear that I would need to get myself back into education in order to achieve any of the careers on my list. While I had created a list, I knew straight away what it was I wanted to do. I started looking into courses and before I knew it, I had been accepted to study a Diploma in Children’s Counselling using the Arts at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education in London.
This was a really difficult time for me - funding my own degree, working full time and travelling to and from London to university - it was tiring, expensive and draining. But it was also rewarding, challenging in a good way and exciting. I have now completed 3 years at university, 3 years in personal therapy and a one year placement. I am now a Children’s Counsellor using the arts, with work in two schools as well as my own private practice which is growing all the time. While I did this myself, there is no way I could have achieved what I have without the support of all of my friends, family, the wonderful people at the blossom charity and my brilliant coach.
Sophie tells us about her blossom experience.
My life has definitely been changed by going through the blossom programme. I would recommend this to anyone who needs some support and direction. Go for it, it’ll be exciting to see what happens next.