0.00.02 My name’s Dave N and my job title is Business Development Manager and I work for Birmingham Centre for Inclusive Living, which is often to shortened to BCIL. In my job I split my role with a colleague. And between us we take effectively the Chief Executive’s role for the charity. So it’s a fairly large role, probably impossible to do everything to nth-degree but it’s a juggling act of making sure that the organisation is stable, legal and is going in the right direction.
00.00.35 In my heart of hearts I started off wanting to be an actor. I was involved in amateur theatre and I actually wrote some plays, that I wrote, and I wanted to go to drama school. My father had the completely different idea for me. His view was as traditionally that drama school is a terrible profession to get into and I really should be a quantity surveyor. So he had a few contacts so he arranged for me to be a quantity surveyor. So in that sense, it was completely the wrong start for me.
00.01.09 I stuck it for a while until I discovered alcohol and then I moved on from that job and realising that replacing my creativity with alcohol was a pretty one-way ticket to nowhere. So I moved onto a whole range of different jobs that included the civil service, it included the potato marketing board, it included working for Blue Peter for a while, it included working for Barnardos, the children’s charity. It included working as a chef. I did spot welding on a build-up line. And within that I also qualified as a social worker and got a Masters degree in education and training.
01.01.48 And along the way, I’ve picked up a lot of skills but the core element to that have been communication, being able to listen to other people and being able to process information and come out with something that’s fairly creative and to make something happen and make a difference. So it’s those elements that have carried me all the way through rather than any one particular job.
00.02.09 I got cancer, and I got Duke’s D cancer which is a pretty nasty version of cancer. I was given a 35% chance of survival. What that does is it stops you again because you’re faced with your own mortality, you’re faced not so much with, there is a sign of about the fact that you could die but there’s also about what you’re leaving behind. And that’s the thing about my daughter and my partner.
00.02.39 And just a sense of you haven’t been able to do everything you want to do so I decided to fight every single inch of the way. I came out of it with a disability. I’ve come out of it with a range of medical conditions that will never go away. But I’m working full-time, I’m supporting my family, I’m having a good laugh. I went to Iceland last week. I am still enjoying life and getting a lot from life and I’ve got a great quality of life. So you rebuild and rebuild stronger because you’ve fought something and you’ve beaten it.
00.03.21 And I went back to work and from that moment, things have gone very well for me and I’m continuing to keep them well for me by being positive and being focused on what I’m trying to achieve. I think it’s still important that I’m still learning. I’m looking to do a PhD and I think I did the degree to prove that the fat kid who everybody thought was stupid wasn’t stupid. I think I did the Masters degree to prove to myself that I wasn’t stupid. Hopefully I can do the PhD because I’ve got something to contribute to somebody else and to something else.