After being made redundant Debbie saw a gap in the market

Debbie Stacey
Debbie Stacey

After being made redundant Debbie saw a huge gap in training for the community and along with a colleague she set about providing this.

Debbie Stacey, 49, has been working as a director of Riverside Training in Gainsborough for nearly 11 years.

Along with a colleague Debbie was made redundant from a training company and the pair saw a gap in the market.

Debbie said: “The challenges of the role are to find funding streams that meet the needs of what the local community want.

“We take pride in delivering quality support and training to a wide range of people in many aspects of their life. Finding the correct funding stream for this can be tricky.

“Other challenges are meeting the demand in numbers. There are so many people out there who want our help and to access our training that we are frequently oversubscribed.

“The rewards of the roles constantly outweigh any of the challenges.

“Seeing the difference we can make in someone’s life is always a humbling experience.

“This could be from providing training for a new job, building their confidence or supporting them through our Pathway to Wellness programme if they have been suffering from anxiety or depression.

“It gives you a warm feeling that you have helped this person to improve their lives and also those of their families.”

Debbie says that many who have enrolled on recreational courses such as the floristry and art classes have told her how much fun they have had and also what good value they are.

She said: “This is due to the funding that we work hard to secure to keep the costs at a reasonable price so they are accessible to everyone.

“Juggling my time is also a challenge as I am the vice-chair and treasurer for Gainsborough Uphill Community Centre.

“With this it is good to see the community centre being used more for the local residents and community.”

Previously Debbie has worked in banking and provided coaching and training to staff.

She said: “From this I realised how much I enjoyed helping people develop their skills and knowledge.

“When I left the bank I knew that I wished to deliver training in some way but was not sure what sector.

“Working with adults is very fulfilling and rewarding. The main surprise was having my own training company and business but the opportunity was there and I believe that you need to take these opportunities as they arise or you may never get the chance again.”

Debbie says her biggest achievement, other than starting the training company from nothing to engaging with more 900 people a year, has to be the weekly Skills and Social Huddle.

She said: “We started this project last year to provide a drop-in service to reduce loneliness and isolation within the community.

“Every week a group of people gather in the centre to have a coffee and chat usually doing some kind of fun craft activity.

“It provides a relaxed atmosphere for everyone and they can come and go as they please without having to book sessions.

“Seeing how those who attend have learnt new skills and gelled as a group is marvellous.

“Looking to the future I would like everyone to be able to access support and training that will help them in their own personal goals.

“So many people do not realise the level of services that they can access to either update and improve their job opportunities or access support for personal/life issues.

“On a personal level, eventually I would like to live in Italy. I have been many times and it is such a beautiful country, the people are so friendly and the food is fabulous.”

Debbie also enjoys gardening, eating out and she has recently started cycling.