Locked in, but still reaching out . . .
IN times of trouble, you've got to be adaptable and keep flying the flag. And one Growth Hub client in Mylor Bridge is doing just that.
Journalist, PR writer, editor, table-tennis coach and family tree researcher Jane Leigh has got used to reinventing herself and adapting to changing times.
Jane says: "I've been a journalist for over 40 years now, working on local newspapers and magazines, and also a freelance writer and editor. I branched out into public relations work too, but in recent years clients seem to have disappeared, at least those who are prepared to pay for work. I still write occasional articles for good causes such as One Bag Beach Clean and Scrubs for Cornwall, but I can't write for commercial organisations for free.
"So, faced with no paid work, I thought I'd use the qualification I'd gained as a table-tennis coach - I've played for several years and wanted to learn a bit more about technique. And after helping run over-50s sessions, I was asked to take over running the sessions in Gloucester and Cheltenham: they also brought in private pupils and a bit of work at local schools too, so that became my main stream of income."
After moving to Cornwall in late 2018, Jane had to start from scratch again, building up new clients and coaching sessions. She explains: "I knew nobody here so started up my own ladies' session at Mylor Bridge, which has established itself with a regular group of players, and then I applied for and won a grant from Table Tennis Engand to set up a new session for Women and Girls. That became Cornwall's first Bat n Chat session, and it's been very successful - or it was until the lockdown was brought in."
Now table tennis is on hold until the lockdown is eased, so Jane has branched out into family tree research. She says: "It's been a hobby of mine for several years, and I think this is a good time to try to use my skills while people are thinking more about their own families and possibly wanting to find out where they came from, what work they did etc. I offer an introductory package of five generations in one line, which provides basic information, and can then go beyond that for more detail."
To date, the genealogy service has attracted several clients who've been very pleased with the work. The most recent testimonial said: "Jane obviously knows what she is doing when it comes to research. Fast efficient service with great results."
If you'd like a news article, a press release for your business, or a trip back in time with a family tree, please get in touch with Jane.