Double Congratulations Chesterfield’s Julie Pebworth has much to celebrate: a June wedding plus her first year successfully running her own business – EPT Dog Walking.  While Chesterfield Borough Council can’t claim any responsibility for finding Julie a husband, their Work for Yourself programme did make a difference in helping her to become self- employed. Julie explained how much her life has changed: “I have had depression for nearly half my life which meant that I couldn’t work for years.  Although I’m managing the condition, the medication has difficult side-effects.  But this new business means that I get lots of exercise and fresh air, I meet lots of people and get out – just what the doctor ordered and I can make an income too.  I feel much better now that I know that I am capable of working.” Using her own passion for dogs and experience of dog training was an ideal start for Julie’s self-employment.  She explained: “Running my own business is really rewarding and not as hard as I thought it would be.  Now that I’m off benefits, it’s really nice to know that all the money I have is what I’ve earned myself.  During the last year, I’ve learned the importance of giving great customer service and being flexible to make the best of new opportunities.  Just as an example, altering my schedule for one client who had broken her leg meant more work for me.” Julie was enthusiastic about how her business has grown: “I also provide a sitting service in my own house which is much less expensive than using kennels and keeps the dogs in a home environment.  My latest development is a ‘dog taxi service’ - taking the animal to the vet, waiting while it is treated and then taking it home.  My clients know that I’m trustworthy and responsible for taking care of their much loved and valuable pets.”
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