0.00.05 Good morning, my name’s Alan C. I’m a Business Development Manager for Birmingham Disability Resource Centre. Being a business development manager in a social enterprise is around creating sustainability, looking for contracts, to bring in core funding so we don’t have to be looking for grant funding all the time. We have to be flexible because everybody has to do a little bit of everything but normally, my role is to get out into the community, meet business leaders, work with Business Link, work with all the agencies to create opportunities for Birmingham Disability Resource Centre.
00.00.42 School was quite difficult for me because I wasn’t very academic even though, I’m going back quite a while now. So I passed the 11-Plus as it was then, didn’t really want to go to grammar school. They finally convinced me that it would be good and that they had a reasonable football team because that was all I was interested in at the time. And I was not quite sure what I wanted to do but like most people, at that time you generally followed what your family were involved in and all my family had been involved in and were currently involved in, the car manufacturing industry.
00.01.26 Even though I thought that that may be not the route that I really wanted to do, I went down the route of being an engineer basically and did my four years apprenticeship. And after 12 years in the car industry, felt that I wasn’t contributing, it wasn’t what I wanted to do. So finally, having gone the whole route, I actually got a job in a further education college, still as an engineer, still repairing machinery but actually in an environment that I felt more comfortable in.
00.01.59 Now, from that day, from walking into that college until today, I’ve actually trained to be a teacher in many different things. I did a fine arts degree at Open University, I did a social sciences degree through the Open University, I’ve got a degree in special needs education, I did four years training to bricklayer because I wanted to teach building sciences. I have not missed a year at college since I left school and yet I was not that taken with the school system. But since I left school I’ve actually been to college every single year doing something different.
00.02.42 It’s living life I think, I think living life is the term. We’ve got a caravan in Bromyard. We do a lot of walking which is in Hereford. We do a lot of small plays. We like to go around to small theatres and people go, ‘Er, theatre, er, boring’, but some of it is so funny and so good, that it’s worth the effort to get into the smaller theatres and enjoy what amateurs are trying to do. We just live life I think.
00.03.14 I wish I had started earlier on the journey where I am now. I wish I had have the convictions that I have now because when I was in the factory I was always led by other people whereas now I’m led by myself and my immediate family. We discuss everything. I’m of an age where people didn’t discuss things as a family. You were either expected to do this or do that and that was it, whereas now things are a lot more open. So I try to give my children the advice without steering their life. As we’re talking about life’s a journey and you go on the journey on your own and just take advice and do what you want.