When Kim and her mum were having coffee, Kim explained that she wanted to pursue self-employment and teach British Sign Language (BSL). Her mum recommended The Prince’s Trust, and 26 year old Kim from Fleet got in touch to start her journey to self-employment.
“When I started learning BSL, I didn’t know anyone who was deaf. I was learning the alphabet alone, I just knew I wanted to help people. It’s been amazing meeting more deaf people and learning about the deaf community. I do 121s, workshops and I’m bringing out a BSL learning booklet so people can revise. I want people to have more access to BSL, and lessons to be cheap and fun, and linked to mental health.”
Kim is passionate about raising awareness for hearing people to learn British Sign Language. It is expensive to have lessons, and at the current time when people are wearing masks to protect others from Coronavirus, it’s hard for deaf people, who often rely on lip-reading.
“I studied Psychology at Royal Holloway University as a mature student. After university I worked in the caring sector and I was just trying to figure stuff out. Shortly after university my dad passed away suddenly, so he never got to see me graduate. I also have a chest condition so I have been hospitalised a lot and have had rough patches. I just wanted to start a new chapter and the Enterprise programme was the best thing for me.”
Kim signed up to the Explore Enterprise Course, and spent three days in Oxford learning all about starting her own business. She says it gave her purpose and focus and running her own business has been extremely helpful in managing her chronic illness, as she can work around her healthcare needs.
Kim’s favourite part of the programme was meeting everyone else participating, and seeing their ideas and passions come to life too. It was a room full of people who wanted to change the world for the better, and that was inspiring and motivating for Kim.
Kim wants to make a difference and be the change that allows access for deaf people. She thrives on feedback and is always working to improve her business. She credits the Enterprise programme with getting her out of a difficult situation.
“As soon as you go to The Prince’s Trust, it changes everything – your mindset, your thoughts, your feelings. Even if you don’t start a business, the Enterprise programme changes your mindset. It’s a course for confidence as well as knowledge. You will take away something that you will impact your life. It’s just an amazing thing. It’s life changing.”