Success Stories

Steph builds her own counselling practice after years of job swapping

Posted in Start

After years of moving from job to job Steph Cole is building up her own therapeutic counselling service with the help of Blackpool Council’s free business advice service – Get Started.
Steph from Blackpool has worked in a variety of jobs from café worker and factory worker to studying full time for a new career in counselling. She has now taken the step to become self-employed and launch her own counselling practice ‘A Way Forward’.

She explained: “I finished school and started working. I never had any specific goals or any burning desire to work in a particular job. I suppose I drifted around earning money, paying the bills, saving for holidays like most people do.

“I tried lots of different roles but nothing really grabbed me. Nothing made me feel like I’d done something ‘great’ at the end of the day. With a lack of formal qualifications it was particularly tough to find a more rewarding role. It was while I was volunteering that I realised I enjoyed ‘helping’ people and I was sure that there was more that I could do.”

Steph sat down with a pen and paper and made a list of the things that she found most rewarding about volunteering and were she felt that she was making a positive contribution. Her reflections and research led her to aim to become a therapeutic counsellor to help people with their worries and issues by learning to truly listen.

Following five years of training at Blackpool & Fylde College she finished her course and passed with flying colours. Fully qualified she is now able to provide volunteer counselling support in three areas covering bereavement, anxiety, substance misuse and sexual health – working with both children and adults.

Steph, commented: “I love my work. I love helping my clients and I get so much out of my work now. For those reasons, I decided to set up my own small business and approached Blackpool Council’s Get Started service for advice and support.

“Setting up your own business is a big step and can be scary. I really appreciated the advice that the team gave to me. I would recommend getting in touch with them if you are interested in launching a new business.”

The Get Started team are based in the Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road and have enjoyed a lot of success in supporting businesses. Last year, the team helped 66 individuals to start businesses and these entrepreneurs employed a further 18 people.

David Slater, Business Growth Manager, Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted that once again the Get Started team has been able to provide the support that a fledgling business really values. I wish Steph every success with her new venture.

“Our Get Started team is here to help from developing a business plan to sourcing and securing funding. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss, or want some advice about how to make a success of it, our expert staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge.”

Contact the Get Started team on 01253 477147 or visit


to find out more.

Visit Steph Cole’s website or call 07845 353506