For Emma, rather than setting up a business or social enterprise, the right decision was to create a charity; a very personal project, borne out of her struggle to care for her baby boy, who was born with a life-limiting condition and tragically died aged just four years old. This lived-experience gave Emma a huge compassion for all parents of children with similar medical conditions, which is why she now wants to use her passion and energy to set up a charity to support other families in this situation.
Emma plan to create two adapted holiday apartments, kitted out with a hydro-pool and other essential facilities to provide parents and carers of children with life-limiting conditions, a much needed break. She signed up to the AWE programme, in the hope that it might help fill in any knowledge gaps around the best way to go about establishing a charity.
“AWE has been amazing because it has helped me to do things differently. Being able to join the weekly AWE group with other women, has been very supportive and inspiring. The practical support and knowledge gained from the programme has also been fantastic. Perhaps the most useful part for me was the business planning module, which has helped support my charity application,” said Emma.
When reflecting on her feelings about coming to the end of the course, Emma says that she feels very sad, but then happily explains that all the AWE participants have agreed to stay in contact and support each other to keep focused on their projects, despite the restrictions around COVID-19.
“This has been a really great stepping stone and I’m looking at alternative ways to establish things in the current climate. AWE helped me to firm up what I wanted to do – previously my ideas were all over the place but now I have a clear plan and a professional business strategy for the Charity Commission. Knowing that the AWE women are 100% behind me and the Awe programme itself have really helped build my confidence to turn my ideas into a plan, which I am now ready to action,” stated Emma.