14 years ago today on April 16th I made a life changing decision. So you are probably wondering how can the lowest point in my life also be the highest point in my life?
Have you ever tried to climb one of those climbing walls, or tried to go up a hill only to keep going back down again, and you feel like giving up?
Well in 2008 the year my marriage ended, the year that the UK was in a recession, when I was struggling financially, and I had health challenges, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life, that was to set up my own company.
Many people at that time questioned my decision, and were not always very encouraging. There were some very difficult times ahead of me, I lost my home that I was living in for 10 years, and had to start again with two children to care for.
During my hardest of times I met and was supported by some very amazing people, who took a chance on me and my vision, and have remained form friends to this day, and have stood by me through thick and thin. On my darkest of days they were there, and on my brightest of days they were there for me.
You see just like that climbing wall that always got the better of me I could easily have given up, but I chose to continue because I have faith in what I want to achieve, faith in the vision, and wanted to be a role model for my children and to be able to provide for them, at the same time make a difference to those who I encountered on my journey.
The other day I facilitated a team building session, and I spoke about journeys. We spoke about how the team journey started, the continued journey and the final destination. Just like that team, my 14 years has been the most amazing journey. I have been blessed to have worked with some of the most amazing and inspirational people on my journey, some have stayed with me and some have moved onto other journeys, some were only meant to be with me for a particular part of my journey.
I started Chinara Enterprises to enable me to do the things that I am most passionate about, that I enjoy and to make a difference to the lives of others, be it through learning and development, consultancy, putting on live shows and concerts with the like of Junior Giscombe, Beverley Knight, or offering mentoring.
Chinara Team at Enfield
14 years and still still climbing that wall with the support and encouragement of so many people. Over the past 14 years Chinara Enterprises has worked with over 30 organisations, nearly 700 members, and over 1000 on our mailing list and growing each day !
Some of our biggest projects to date have been with the Local Government Association, where we are really proud to have developed and delivered the learning and development programme for the national Return to Social Work Programme for 3 years, as well as the Social Work Together Essentials programme.
RTSW graduation event
We have been at the forefront of discussions with regards to agency social workers learning and development, and are pleased to be engaging with Social Work England on supporting social workers in the independent sector.
We are immensely proud of our working relationship with Kings College London, Making Research Count, on the Return to Social Work Programme, Social Work Together Essentials as well as supporting agency social worker training.
Over the years the Chinara Enterprises team has expanded, and we now have a team of associates across the UK working with us on various contracts. People often ask me, how do you do it? ! If it was not for my amazing team, including Jame Blewett, Professor Jill Manthorpe, George Smalling, Shahilla Barok, Jan Carpenter, Jennifer Orgill, Jill Webb, Sarah Jones, Fiona Bryan, Toni Mitchell, Sue Skrobanski, Sue Conn, Andrea Goddard, Tosin Mason, my right hand person Stephanie Brown who has stuck with me for 14 years, my accountant, my insurance broker ,Lloyds Bank, my business mentor Michael Cheesman, my son and my dearly departed daughter, Beverley Knight , Orlando Gittens, Dj Bigger, DJ Munro, Everett Henry, Mi Soul Radio, Calvin Francis, Archie Dee, my Web team Delton Digital, Jade Consulting, Eli and Heather Thompson, Aadil Rasheed, Tony Matthews, Andy Franklin, Nigel Bee, Natty B, Kush Films, Sherry Ann Dixon , BeautyPac , Romero Bryan, Bryan Chambers, Angie Le Mar, Jahson, Don E, Hughie Crawford, ITV Meridian, BBC South East Today and BBC Radio Kent, to name a few ! Countless friends and family, all of this would not be achieved. Also had it not been for our many clients who took a chance on us, and appreciate what we do, we would not be where we are today.
So my message to you who are reading this is.. There may be times in your life when you are at your lowest point, do not give up, that point in your life can be the moment you decide to make a positive change, and make what was the lowest point in your life your highest one !
Stay blessed and thank you for reading
Going to finish up with one of my favourite inspirational songs from my dear friend and someone who I call family Beverley Knight
16th April marks another anniversary year for Chinara Enterprises !
I am really proud to be celebrating yet another year in business. This past year has been a very challenging one , both personally and professionally. However in spite of what challenges have come my way, Chinara Enterprises is still standing!
This time last year, we were in the midst of a national lockdown, and many business and individuals have suffered during this last year, and are still suffering. I have lost very close family and friends to COVID, and had my own personal health challenges too, and still found a way to keep going. Many people ask me, how do I do it? Carol don’t you ever sleep?
I have no secret to how I do what I do, no formula, its mainly my faith, having a great team around me who share the same values and aspirations for Chinara Enterprises, and have been a great source of support.
Over the past year Chinara Enterprises has had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, I almost feel as if we contributed to the “war effort” as we delivered two national programmes to over 1,000 people to support them in returning to social work practice.
We were really honoured to have been selected to deliver the national Return to Social Work programme for the Local Government Association to 184 people from across England , we also worked with King’s College London to deliver training for the Social Work Together programme, for social workers who were placed on the temporary register with Social Work England, during COVID 19.
We had a high calibre of participants on the programme , and had nearly 80% successfully re register with Social Work England.
We were really pleased to be working with such a great team of trainers, coaches and academics from across England, who worked together to shape the programme, deliver and provide support to all the learners.
Myself and Stephanie, together with the LGA provided the wrap around support to learners, and the feedback from learners overall was really positive, and for some life changing.
As much as a challenge this was, it also provided us an opportunity to reflect on our delivery model, and as a result we were able to develop an online learning platform for the programmes, to enable learners to access useful tools and resources to support their learning. The refreshed website and online platform was developed by Delton Digital and You Now Have Digital, who also worked with the team to develop E learning resources.
After the programmes ended we took the opportunity to refresh our website and launch a new learning and development platform. .The online platform provides members access to free e learning, resources and discounted access to learning events. We have our own ticketing platform with a secure payment platform.
We were also commissioned by Liquid Personnel to develop an online learning platform for their 1500 agency social workers across the UK.
In addition to this we have continued to deliver bespoke courses for a number of other recruitment agencies, including Social Personnel, Reed, Connect2Socialwork.
2020 was the first year of registration renewal for Social Workers in England, all social workers were required to record and reflect on CPD throughout the year , and had a deadline of 30th November.
As a social worker myself I recognise the challenge in making time for my own personal and professional development. In recognition of this, I facilitated a number of workshops with Social Work England on how to meet the CPD requirements for Social Work England. We received great feedback on these workshops, with social workers feeling more confident in recording their CPD on time !
One of our other successes for this past year is gaining accreditation of Provider of Training Excellence , from the Professional Development Consortium.
This accreditation, was awarded in recognition of the high standards we set in providing learning and development for all of our clients.
We are looking forward to another productive year, with new projects, more events, expanding our business offering and our 1-1 support.
All of this would not have been possible without the support of my team of associates, by business mentor, my tech team, accountants Bayar Hughes and Co and my insurance broker Acorn Insurance, and my solicitor Richard Long who have also stuck by me in my 13 years.
Finally I would like to thank all of you who have supported Chinara Enterprises on our journey over the past 13 years, whether you are a client, supplier, promoter, artist, attendee, associate . We have a very exciting journey ahead of us, and we look forward to another 13 years and more !
Checkout our website to explore what we have to offer !
On this day 16th April 2008 , twelve years ago, I proudly registered my own limited company. It’s been the most amazing journey to say the least.
I started Chinara Enterprises so that I could do everything that I enjoy doing under through one company. All of my life I have been committed to developing and supporting people, as well as creating opportunities to bring people together and promoting talent.
The name Chinara is of Nigerian origin and means God receives, and I chose that not just because of my faith, but because I believe that every person has the ability to realise their potential. The candle symbol in my logo represents the light that shines inside all us, and my aspiration is to enable people and organisation to achieve their ambitions and provide a beacon of hope to others.
Over the past 12 years I have had the opportunity to work and engage with so many amazing people through all of the many organisations I have worked with. With an expert team of associates that has grown over the years, we have been able to achieve successes in a number of areas. My very first contract was with the then Children’s Workforce Development Council, this was then merged with the Department for Education. We worked with over 30 young people to develop a good practice guide in participation with young people for the children’s workforce.
Since then the Chinara Enterprises team have been engaged on a number of interim assignments for local councils have organised events, large concerts, conferences, offered mentoring, coaching, supervision, activities for young people, supported charities and much more !!
Its hard to say what we are most proud of as there are so many things and so many people who have been a part of our journey. My right hand people Stephanie Brown and Michael Cheesman have been my constant support from day when I started, and we are still an awesome team. I would not be where I am without their support, guidance and patience. My family too have been a source of constant support and encouragement, especially my son and my late daughter, who often get called upon to assist me with our many projects. The refreshed website in fact was designed and developed my my son’s company You Now Have Digital and Delton Digital
Our associate team has grown over the 12 years, I now have a database of over 100 associates across the country who provide training, coaching, mentoring and consultancy. I would also like to thank my accountants Bayar Hughes and Co and my insurance broker Acorn Insurance, and my solicitor Richard Long who have also stuck by me in my 12 years.
We are very excited to be working on the national Return to Social Work Programme again this year. This will be the third year running the programme, and we have been proud to see the achievements of previous candidates on the programme. Check out the Return to Social Work page for more information about the programme https://www.local.gov.uk/return-to-social-work.
We have had some great feedback from our customers over the years below are just a few
“I’ve found Carol and Chinara Enterprises to be highly knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to social work and anything to do with Social Work England. She ran a CPD workshop for our locum candidates and we received such lovely and appreciative feedback with some asking for more workshops to be run. She has also provided interview coaching for some of my candidates which has been informative and useful to said candidates. Carol is approachable and friendly, and I would highly recommend her and her knowledge to any social work agency or social workers in general.” Sian Homer – Senior Recruitment Consultant Connect2Socialwork (Part of Commercial Services Trading Ltd)https://www.connect2staff.co.uk/jobseekers/sectors/qualified-social-workers/#!/
I want to congratulate Chinara Enterprises on its 12th anniversary. It is a tremendous achievement, one that you should be exceptionally proud of as you have put a lot of work into the company and it is evidently clear the fruits of your labour is yielding good business opportunities for you. Keep up the fantastic work as you are an inspiration to others to follow. Well done Everett Henry Director Commtas http://www.commtas.com/
“I have known Carol, both professionally and personally for a number of years. Carol is an amazing individual with a wealth of knowledge, experience and ability who is both well liked and respected as a teacher, mentor and social worker. Carol started Chinara Enterprises a number of years ago and I have been fortunate enough to work with her on a variety of occasions. I would highly recommend Chinara Enterprises to anyone looking for high-quality, sector specific social work/return to social work training provider. I wish Carol and her associates the very best for the future” Chris Griffin Commercial Director Social Personnel https://socialpersonnel.com/
Thank you for the webinar. It really helped me to focus on my development and assisting my social work team to ensure they are focussing on their own development and compliant with the expectations of social work England. I will share my learning with the team. If you are doing a webinar aimed at newly qualified social workers or students this would be useful W. S Attendee on a recent CPD webinar
Finally I would like to thank all of you who have supported Chinara Enterprises on our journey over the past 12 years, whether you are a client, supplier, promoter, artist, attendee, associate . We have a very exciting journey ahead of us, and we look forward to another 12 years and more ! Until our next blogg !!