Independents’ Day with Teresa Murphy of East Devon Adult Classes

Teresa Murphy. Ref edr 24 18TI 5348. Picture: Terry Ife

Teresa Murphy. Ref edr 24 18TI 5348. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Teresa Murphy speaks about her passion for learning together.

Please introduce yourself…

My name is Teresa Murphy and I have lived in Sidmouth since my parents came here in 1963 .

I love that my children were all born here in Sidmouth hospital and they all remained, only to go to away and return, as they like me, have fallen in love with the beautiful area we live in.

I have worked in childcare and youth work for many years and went back to study at Exeter College and Plymouth University, when the children started to leave home.


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I have always wanted to work independently and have time to fit in family life and grandchildren time so I looked at what I enjoyed doing and how I could combine what I have learnt at university and college and use those qualifications to build a business that would allow me to work in the local community .

After gaining an adult education qualification, I decided I would like to combine my skills of counselling and health and social care and psychotherapy to teach personal development and skills and run courses and workshops that also offer training to local business and their staff . Also for local individuals who would like to learn more about themselves build on their personal development.

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What made you decide to set up shop as an independent trader in Sidmouth?

Why not? It’s a lovely place to work, I know the area well but, more importantly, I wanted to offer courses in the area so people and companies don’t have to travel so far and, while learning, can appreciate the lovely towns and villages they live in!

I was aware that today people are disappearing into technology to learn. If you don’t know it, Google it right, nothing wrong with learning online and I welcome anyone exploring new ways of learning, however I feel it discounts so much. We are losing the quality of learning by including socialising interaction with other learners and having a tutor available to support you while you are learning. This to me one of the great things about doing a course or workshop .

We should, in fact, encourage adult education and learning we have some amazingly wonderful buildings in Sidmouth and local areas that are available and why not encourage people to get together in learning something new.

So for me, this was how I could use my qualifications skills and knowledge of the area to encourage others to learn new skills and personal development and training, importantly encouraging local and those new to the area to socialise in a learning environment.

How do you see your business faring in the next five years?

Over the next five years I would like to expand into other local areas in Devon and continue to encourage learning in adult education and support business and organisations in training in their wellbeing of their staff. Most business owners are becoming aware of encouraging self-development within the work environment and supporting the wellbeing package that allows the work place to be a healthy environment both physically but importantly for good mental health.

I also have other tutors who are keen to work with me in adult education and training within the local Devon areas offering a diverse and interesting set of courses/workshops and retreats to encourage wellbeing for everyone.

What advice would you give to anybody considering setting up and independent business?

Anyone setting out on a path of using their knowledge and skills in the workplace and starting their own business should look at what is needed in the area who they can support, importantly allowing their business to be part of the local community. Taking the first steps are always the hardest but its knowing the steps are in the right direction for you that are the important part. I love what I do and I feel this is a right fit for me and I feel at home in the classroom. If your business feels rewarding and allows you to grow, that it just keep going your on the right track.

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