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Christine Edwards

l was born and raised in Manchester and a parent of two children. For as long as I can remember I've always loved been creative and had a passion for interior design. As a child I would be one looking in skips and alleyways retrieving furniture and hauling things home to upcycle to my parent's dismay. For as long as l can remember l have had creative side and loved organising. I could see beyond what other people saw as rubbish. Sadly in 70''s the opportunities were simply just not available to develop my passion further.

I have always loved working with families and communities but hated not been able to more creative. During my 30 years working with families in both Statutory, Charitable and Private Sector l gain vast knowledge and experience. I noticed pattern forming when individuals/families faced crisis it often became overwhelming and would be reflected in the homes and presents itself in several ways hoarding, breakdown of family life and disorganisation within the home. It just had a negative impact on the daily routine of the home and quality of family life. It was difficult to observe especially as there was no real services to support individuals/families in this area. I wanted to be able to help more and knew this was area l could make a difference just wasn’t sure how?

Being made redundant for the second time was the catalyst for change l needed. It made me feel like decisions about my life were been made for me and it was having a negative impact on me professionally, personally and financially. It made me want to take control of life l was tired of feeling my life was out of control.

I started to see my redundancy in a positive light and opportunity for change and for me to take charge over the direction of my life as an ideal opportunity to reclaim and follow my dream. After researching, courses and support from family and friends. I started to pursue my passion and love in organisation and interior design.

Another key factor that drove me to make these life changing decisions were my two children they viewed life as endless opportunities and this inspired me. From my children were young I regularly told tell they can achieve anything they want with faith, hard work and commitment. I needed to practice what l preached and wanted to be a positive role model in my children’s lives. Through hard work, taking a leap a leap of faith and decided I wanted to make a living do what I love. I was able to take to organisational skills and passion for interior design and form my business Tidy-Me.....A Place for Everthing. Tidy-Me provides a client focused professional non-judgement service to support individuals organise their home. My aim is for clients to Life today is stressful and we have seen an increase in Mental Health issues.

There is a direct link between your home environment and Mental health. Your home should be a sanctuary a place to escape to ....l am firm believer a tidy home creates a tidy mind. A key part of my service is providing practical and emotional support by being sensitive and keen listener to gain an understanding of client's needs to best guide them through the process. My vision is for clients to have a positive Tidy-Me experience. have a home that is practical, organised and beautiful. I aim to empower client’s through by sharing skills/ideas and offering practical support to maintain their home which in turn has positive impact on their Mental health and family life.

Becoming a parent and starting my own business it unwittingly started me on a journey of self discovery and enabled me to discover who l really am. Being a parent is the most difficult but most rewarding job l have ever done. My experience as a parent has forced me to challenge myself become a better person. The skills l have learnt during my journey as parent gave me the confidence and determination of becoming my own boss and being self authentic self but it’s definitely been worth it. I no longer live in fear, have forgiven myself, embrace change just like the seasons a natural and necessary part of life. I have a greater

understanding of forgiveness, appreciation of enjoying the little things in life because in reality they are the big things and most importantly to love without l have learnt to embrace my journey of lifelong learning. I pray my story inspires others and to realise their dream.

I encourage you don’t allow anyone to steal your dream and don’t let fear hold you back. Becoming self-employed was not easy it takes commitment, hard work and sacrifices and has -been stressful. The financial insecurity and no guarantee of work is a real issue and caused many a sleepless night along with self doubt.

All the tears and obstacles l faced were a necessary part of my process. It stopped me living in fear and seeing my life as failure. My journey provided me with the opportunity to become my authentic self which has made me see my calling and purpose. I have stopped living in fear and see my failures as badges of honour which have built my character and resilience. Which has enabled me to write my own story and have autonomy of how l live my life.

To see my business transform from an idea to becoming a reality has been amazing. There’s nothing more rewarding seeing a happy client and them sharing testimonials of how my service as changed their lives.

Being Self employed has enabled me to choose how l want to work. I enjoy having the freedom of choice it gives me. I am able to write and be the leading lady in my story.

The experiences l have experienced in my professional and personal life. On reflection l see all my experiences were life lessons and made me into the woman l am today but at the time l saw them as failures. My children are the best thing that ever happened to me along with my faith. On reflection my challenges have aided my growth and made me a better person. My children have taught me so much and have challenged me in all aspects of my parenting and who l am as a woman. Especially when they mirrored behaviour of myself l did not like. It forced me re-examine all aspects of myself which was long and difficult journey. I am more compassionate, less judgemental, resilient, focused, reflective, self dependent, accountable, strengthened my faith and increase my determination which has been instrumental in aiding me in my parenting,

profession and becoming the woman l am today. It's taken decades to fully understand me and be.

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