So where do I start this blog? DBC are 20 years old in December 2020.
When I started this business as a naïve entrepreneur I never thought that 20 years on we would have changed the lives of over 30,000 individuals and helped over 6000 companies with their workforce development. The journey for me has taken many ups and downs, more about them later. From working for a national company in a sales role and travelling the country to starting up a business and being responsible for employing staff, paying the bills, selling, teaching, quality, accounts and PAYE just to name a few has been a Roller Coaster ride, to say the least.
I remember in 2000 taking our first-ever office premises, just under 2000 sqft in Derby. My family and friends rallied around with their paintbrushes, dusters and mops and we got the premises ready. It was really exciting and very nerve-racking. Fast forward 20 years and we are now a multi-awarding winning training providing, with a multi-million-pound turn over helping to SPARK potential and develop the talent of thousands of individuals annually. The ups and downs – our first ever inspection by ALI was probably the fastest learning curve I have ever been on and one of the biggest lows in my 20 years! I remember crying at the feedback meeting out of pure frustration! It was a lesson I learnt a lot from and I still refer back to questions asked by the inspectors today.
One of the biggest highs in my 20 years was been awarded the SSU/SSR contract for the whole of the East Midlands region with a value of just over £13m, after dancing on the ceiling for a few days, the reality soon set in of we have got to deliver this. This again was a sharp learning curve as TUPE was a word I’d not even really heard of. Not to mention to throw into the mix that I had a six-month-old baby! But delivering that contract and doing a great job, put DBC on the map to success and people were starting to talk about the great work that we did and continue to do helping individuals back to work, find apprenticeships and gain new qualifications.
We couldn’t celebrate 20 years of being in business without mentioning the team and how every single member of staff over the 20 years has contributed to our success, for which I am extremely grateful. From our first-ever member of staff Pamela Williams, who is now a senior manager in the NHS and puts her success down to the great skills she learnt at DBC. Over the 20 years not only have we have some great staff and still do, but I have also made some fabulous friends for life, I know it's cheesy but DBC does feel like my extended family.
We wouldn’t have a business without our fantastic employers and stakeholders some of whom we have worked with for nearly 20 years and again some who I’m lucky enough to now call friends. Thank you. And last but not least our fantastic learners who without, none of this would be possible.
We practice what we preach at DBC and grow our own from our Finance Director Vicki Zolkiewicz, who enrolled with us to improve her computer skills 10 years ago! And our Performance Manager on employability Jamie Traynor who also started her career 9 years ago as a learner.
We thank you every day for putting your trust us in us which enables us to Deliver Better Choices and Create Brighter Futures. In summary, the last 20 years has flown by and I wouldn’t change any of it, as without the lows we wouldn’t learn the lessons and would not keep coming back stronger. I really do love my job and as the saying goes, “Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life”.