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University Course Leader in Running for County Award for Entrepreneurship

A University of Worcester course leader is in the running for a county award, recognising her efforts helping give mothers the confidence and skills to return to work.

Jennifer Hill, who is a tutor and course leader for the Universityís Health and Social Care Foundation degree, is in the running for the Wonderful Worcestershire Awards, in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.

This recognises her achievements in starting her own health and therapy training business after spotting a gap in the market.

ďItís nice when people think of you, consider you to have helped them and put you forward [for an award],Ē she said. ďIím proud to make a difference to peopleís lives and itís so rewarding to watch people develop, grow and gain confidence.Ē

The Awards reward individuals for their contribution to the county in a number of ways.

Mrs Hillís business, Worcester-based JBH Training, has flourished going from a one-woman operation to having several employees.

The 32-year-old, of St Johnís, Worcester, who believes she was nominated by one of her former students, came in the top five in the public vote so will progress on to the final awards ceremony on April 27.

Mrs Hill teaches on the Health and Social Care Foundation Degree, which gives students the theory and work experience to help them decide on future careers, whether that is nursing, mental health, youth work or caring for older people. Many of those on the course have had a career break or want to retrain.

Her business idea was formed after Mrs Hill, who has over a decade of experience in teaching, training and practising in physical therapy, returned to Worcester two years ago and, alongside occasional lecturing, started looking for ways to build on her wellbeing skills.

Unable to find the one-to-one flexible training she wanted, the mother-of-two set it up herself.

The business offers teaching and training to mainly women, particularly young mothers, in health and complementary therapies, for example aromatherapy and sports massage.

ďItís retraining them to give them the confidence and skills to go back to work after having children, and supporting and helping them to get jobs,Ē said Mrs Hill, who took up a permanent position at the University in November last year.

Mrs Hill works with local employers to get placements and work experience for her students and some of these have turned into paid work.

ďItís about networking and letting people know whatís available in the county,Ē she added. ďItís also about helping people build up their CVs for when they apply for jobs after the course. Thereís lots of excellent opportunities and itís nice to see that local businesses are supporting people trying to get back into work after a career break.Ē

Mrs Hill also runs a social media network supporting working mothers in Worcester, which has over 1,000 members.