Charlotte took part in Enterprise Camp in December 2014. We caught up with her to chat about her experience.
Before the camp, I was anxious and quite a reserved person. The idea of going away with a group of people I had never met was really scary. I signed up quite last minute and had no idea how it would all work and I was quite worried about taking my daughter away and leaving her during the day as we’d never been separated at that point.
The Groundwork staff and Talent Match coaches were so encouraging and supported me with everything.
During the camp, my confidence grew massively in such a short space of time. I learnt that I could push my boundaries and try things that scared me. I’m really scared of heights and the climbing wall seemed so scary. I actually had to leave the room because I was so upset. The Groundwork staff came out to talk to me and they really listened and I don’t know how I did it but I just walked back up to the climbing wall and got right to the top before I even knew it!
I’ve always wanted my own business because I want a good footing in life to pass on to my daughter. Enterprise Camp is brilliant because I was able to apply myself to something practical. I learnt to take risks and before camp, I wouldn’t even take small risks but let’s face it, to be successful in business, you need to be able to take risks!
I also found out I was a leader! I’ve never been the kind of person to guide other people but when we were doing raft-building, the team were all talking over each other and we weren’t getting anywhere. Suddenly – and I don’t know where it came from – I started delegating roles and taking control. It was amazing and I realised again that leadership was a skill I never knew I had which is vital for business.
We then had a go at running our own business. Each team was given some stock and a stall in Sheffield’s market. I absolutely took to running my own retail stall because it’s my dream to have my own motorbike rally store in the future.
I used all my new found skills to make our stall a success. I was confident when dealing with customers, I took lead with my team and made sure everything was organised. It was fantastic.
The way I would sum up Enterprise Camp is this: it helps you to find yourself when you didn’t even know you hadn’t found yourself! I never really thought I could be a different version of myself but camp brought that out of me. By being given space away from my daughter, I was able to concentrate fully on myself and really work hard to develop.
Since Camp, I’ve taken part in another enterprise programme with Element Society to design a sportsbag. My team won and we’ve now had our product manufactured and it will soon be taken to market. I’m also going to be volunteering my time with other young people who are interested in going on camp. I feel like I want to help other people and give back what I’ve been given.