2020 was a rather amazing year. For all of the challenges that Covid brought us, I am grateful to report that my business has thrived. I have helped almost 80 individual families in a paid capacity and many more on a voluntary basis. I have learnt new ways of working and also developed my own skills at running a business.

I had been hoping that 2021 would bring us a sense of normality, but for the time being, Covid is still causing issues. In Wales we are currently in Tier 4 which means we are back under “stay at home” regulations. The guidance is confusing, especially for an independent healthcare professional. I have spent several hours going through documentation to try and work out what I can and can’t do, and in the end I have been led to decide that I need to postpone all but emergency face to face visits until March 2021 at least. A lot of my work will continue online, so I’m thankful for learning about that possibility in 2020!

Although there is some information to say that you can still go into other people’s houses, it is more designed for electricians and plumbers who can work at a safe distance from others, than a therapist who needs to interact and play with children. As mentioned here, I found during 2020 that online working can be excellent, but there are some cases where it is still helpful to have that 1:1 interaction in a child’s own environment.

Decisions like this are certainly where I miss being employed as I have to make them by myself, with best intentions. I know I don’t always get them right, but I will try my best. I think perhaps the times are more challenging at present as nobody really knows what is happening or where we are heading with Covid.

I’ve been grateful to have a steady flow of enquires in late 2020 and I am starting working with several new children this month online. The majority are educational needs assessments, some small pieces of treatment around sensory regulation and some general advice style assessments.

I have two major aims for 2021:

  1. Find an Associate
  2. Find a therapy space

I hadn’t imagined getting to the point of having too many enquires and having to turn people away, but it has happened. So my first objective is to find another Occupational Therapist to take on some cases and work alongside me. It will take me a while to find the right person, but it looks like Helping Kids Shine is ready to expand!

The second objective is all about finding a therapy space. I am one case study away from receiving my Certificate in Ayres Sensory Integration and I would love to have a therapy space where I can complete Sensory Integration Therapy. This needs to be local to me in Bridgend and I know with Covid as it is, that this is something to look at perhaps in the later part of the year rather than straight away. Being able to work with children in a specially designed therapy space would be a dream come true.

For now, I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that 2021 is even better than 2020!