Former Sheffield physio as finalist in national business awards

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“I set the intention to jump out of my comfort zone sixty five times in this my 65th birthday year. Since then life has presented me with an amazing mix of opportunities and challenges.” Carolyn Parker, a former physiotherapist at Nether Edge Hospital from 1980-82 says.

Officially starting her author business was the first leap Carolyn, who writes about personal challenges that are often swept under the carpet, took this year.

This was followed by an equally scary physical health challenge arising from severe pain and restrictions in her everyday activities caused by a 40 degree curve (scoliosis) in her lower spine, together with a benign tumour, bulging discs and ongoing degenerative disease. She is now officially classed as disabled and currently coming to terms with the emotional fall out from her current situation, which impacts every area of her life.

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While searching out online resources for disabled sole traders a few months ago Carolyn found the Business Success Network for Disabled Entrepreneurs Facebook group in which she quickly felt heard and understood by the other group members. A couple of weeks later she saw a post that encouraged her to submit an entry to the Business Success Recognition Awards 2024. This one action would turn out to mark the start of a new chapter in Carolyn's author journey.

Carolyn’s first book signing eventCarolyn’s first book signing event
Carolyn’s first book signing event

Established by Stacey Calder and sponsored by McQueen Partnership and 76 Services Ltd, these awards celebrate the fantastic work being done by businesses and individuals within the UK business community. They are open to all organisations nationwide regardless of size or maturity.

Founder Stacey Calder has said: “Not only have I had the privilege to read over 300 entries, it makes me incredibly proud to give a platform for small businesses to not only recognise their achievements but to raise their profile and showcase what they do.”

Carolyn commented: "You can imagine my total surprise and delight at being announced as one of eight finalists, from over twenty nominations in the Business Start Up category."

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She had told her mum who lives near Birmingham that she would text to say she needed to buy a dress if she was a finalist

This posed a further challenge for Carolyn as her disability has caused her to develop a degree of body dysmorphia and she has never attended a black tie event before.

However, she has said that this is a wonderful opportunity to break through some of her self image barriers that have kept her in jeans and baggy tees for many years. She is determined to dress to impress and go to the ball!"

The winners will be announced at a glitzy ceremony on Saturday 29th June at the Eastside Rooms in central Birmingham.

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Carolyn believes that .. "Everyone who attends in my mind in a winner as we have all taken a leap out of out comfort zones to be in the room. I wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to meeting them on the night."

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