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  • Michelle Dobson

New Year, New Start



Photo credit Lee Dobson www.leedobsonphotography.com


Ahh January, that magical time when we reflect on the year that’s passed and look forward to the year to come. In a normal year anyway. This January is a bit different as I think most of us are trying to forget all about last year and I can totally understand why. However, while 2020 was full of unexpected challenges and difficulties, I’m actually really proud of everything I managed to achieve.


To be honest, I struggled with the idea of even putting this thought out there because so many people didn’t have the successes I did. It felt a bit wrong and selfish to shout about how my business has grown when there are so many who have been struggling to stay afloat or had to close down altogether. But in the end, my business growth has been the key to helping so many of my clients and support workers stay in business or keeping their heads above water. My success means their success and vice versa and that’s something to absolutely be proud of.


I think probably the biggest change in 2020 was taking on two new members of staff with Clare and Kelly. As word spread about what it is This is Me does and client numbers started going up, it was increasingly obvious that I couldn’t do it all alone anymore. Part of the reason I became self-employed was so I could spend more time with my family and that was beginning to suffer. I was also struggling to dedicate as much time to each client individually as I would have liked and it was all getting a bit much.


Bringing Clare and Kelly into the family enables me to allocate my time much more efficiently now. Before they came along, I was doing every single bit of the work myself and the more clients there were, the less time I had to devote to each one. They help me to spread the load so I can spend more time with the clients and less time cutting through the red tape. It truly is a team effort and I’m so proud of how we’re all working together.


So what does 2021 hold for This is Me and what are we taking forward from 2020? Well, 2021 is a bit of a new start for us. We’ve moved into a different, bigger office which was much needed, partly because of the additions to the team and partly because I want the office to be a safe space for my clients to come to. Somewhere that they can feel like they can talk about anything to me or one of the other members of the team and not worry about privacy. Somewhere that, if they need some help with contacting Access to Work or dealing with paperwork, they can come here and we can support them.


Because that’s what we’re here for. To support our clients through their journey (yes, I used the J word) and to help them achieve their maximum potential. Disability should not stand in the way of talent and if something as simple as having a safe space to come to, to talk things out is what they need, then I want to be able to provide that.

This year is all about potential. Potential for change, the potential for success, and potential for more growth. Supporting my clients’ potential and helping to guide them on their way. That’s what 2021 holds for This is Me. Potential.





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