With over 40 years of teaching experience between them, Geoff Hawkins and Joanne Trewick were determined to put their skills and passion for accessible education to good use when they decided to start up their tutoring business Arise Tuition.
Joanne explains that she has always been passionate about equality and access in education and this was her driving force when working in a school in a disadvantaged area. Over the years, having witnessed many changes in education, both positive and negative, she decided that she wanted to leave mainstream education and explore an alternative route to providing education and learning, that had the pupil at the heart of it. When Joanne and Geoff met in October 2018, they realised that they both shared the same values and aspirations with regards to education and it was at that point that their business idea gained real traction
Initially, the plan was to launch the business in April 2020 with a series of sessions planned for the Easter Holidays. Obviously, this was disrupted by the arrival of the pandemic, and with Jo feeling obligated to stay in school to help the pupils until a clearer route out of the pandemic became available, their plans were put on hold until later on in the year.
In the meantime, Geoff registered on to the Enterprise Hub programme and took advantage of the webinars and 1:1 business support that was on offer to ensure the foundations of the business were firmly established. They both worked tirelessly on business plans, administrative tasks, marketing and social media and putting all their policies and procedures in place, all whilst balancing full-time work. They also secured their ideal premises in Hoylake where they intended to deliver their group sessions once government restrictions were lifted. At this point, everything was fully on track for a New Year launch for Arise Tuition. However, once again, their plans were put on hold as they received news, in the middle of December, that due to another lockdown the premises would not be opening and their group sessions would not be taking place as planned.
Far from stopping them in their tracks, Geoff and Jo used this time revisit their original business plan and strategy. With schools being forced back online to deliver live lessons and online material, the challenge now shifted to being able to meet the educational needs of children who were already experiencing online overload and craved social interaction and face-to-face encounters. Market research also lead to the realisation that it wasn’t just the children that needed support - parents were struggling to establish structured routines and motivational strategies, whilst keeping a check on their children’s well-being and mental health – they needed support too!
So, as the world awaited a return to ‘normality’ Arise Tuition now found themselves developing a parent-based support programme to run along-side their one-to-one group tuition. “One of the main lessons we have learned whilst launching our business is ‘Be ready to adapt and change’” says Geoff after his rollercoaster year of stops and starts. However, as schools look forward to welcoming pupils back to face-to-face teaching again, Geoff and Jo are excited about arising from the pandemic ashes and finally embarking on their long-term goal to deliver quality tuition centred around the wellbeing of their pupils.
Of the Enterprise Hub programme, Geoff says, “The Enterprise Hub is a fantastic resource for all start-up businesses. We would have been lost without it!” He continues, “From the beginning, and our initial contact with Heidi, we knew we had a great driver and support package from the Enterprise Hub. Throughout, Heidi has been easy to contact and provided friendly and immediate support, resources and connections. All of the courses that were available were vital in supporting us in our business venture. It was great to hear from the experts who delivered complex concepts, to us newcomers, in a simple and accessible way. We also met a fantastic community of new business owners, who shared our inexperience and enthusiasm, and who now provide a great network of mutual support.
For more information about Arise Tuition, please contact:
Phone: 07305 045264