Cannock based tutor, Rachael Benton is now loving her job as a tutor, in her own business Shine and Learn, supporting children and their families across the country with core skills including maths, English and other primary subjects.
However, life wasn’t so sweet when the former primary school teacher walked away from her career in 2018 suffering with her mental health.
Fast forward to the start of the Covid pandemic lockdown in March 2020 and Rachael was building a new team and supporting and tutoring apprentices remotely online, with maths, English, and ICT functional skills.
Rachael said: “Home schooling was suddenly thrust upon us in 2020. I was still working remotely but I wanted to be able to reach out to many parents and carers who I could see, were struggling to support their children during lockdown learning.
“For half-term in October 2020, I decided to produce a video Halloween quiz, for my youngest daughter’s primary school Facebook group -which I had set up at the start of lockdown as a community support for our school. My daughter then suggested I launch a YouTube channel and add the video to it so that others could enjoy the quiz and have fun.
“I added more videos to the channel with fun activities and games to support learning. I then started receiving enquiries for primary tuition. There was no way I could do this as a full-time apprenticeship tutor and a mum.
“However, as I continued to upload more videos, my passion for supporting children was reignited and I began to respond to enquiries.
“In March 2021, I had around six students, or shining stars as I call them, and I reduced my working hours, only supporting apprentices two days a week and Shine & Learn Tutoring was born.”
Recently Rachael has received help in developing her business from the business start-up team at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.
Rachael said: “I was recommended the Chambers by a friend last year. I contacted them but as the business was only in the very early stages and I was unsure how and if it was going to grow so I decided not to become a member.
“A year later and the business had grown. I now needed help and support in developing the business, so I decided to invest in chamber membership. I was put in touch with start-up advisors Aly Davidson and Pete Ball. They have both been incredibly helpful and I have had lots of support around finance, legal and marketing.”
Rachael’s reputation and following continues to grow on Facebook and YouTube channel and she recently took the decision to launch Shine & Learn Tutoring as a full-time business.
Rachael said: “Currently, I support over 20 shining stars and their families – mostly in and around Cannock; two families who are remote in Yorkshire. One of the remote families is home educated and I have also previously supported a home educated girl based in Northamptonshire.
“I now have regular enquiries through Facebook and word of mouth – I plan to grow digitally, possibly expanding into the use of an app for revision. I am also about to complete a level two course in Children and Young People’s Mental Health to be able to facilitate much in demand support.
“The future is looking bright and who knows how the business will develop. One thing is for certain, I will be utilising the Chambers at each step along the way.”
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