Friday, 27 November 2009
Since being on the show last year one of Fiona goals was to set up Instructors Courses that is now a reality. We catch up with Fiona in Cork at a class run by Aoife Ryan who completed her training with Fiona at the beginning of the year.
Fiona Seagrave established Care for Children First Aid in January 2008. Fiona previously worked in the Life Assurance Industry for 18 years. There was an exciting part to her life though! As an avid sports participant, she qualified as a Sports Therapist in 1996 and went on to study another year of Physical Therapy. Fiona took up scuba diving as a hobby in 1993 and turned professional in 1997. She qualified as an Instructor in 1998. She then became an Emergency First Response Instructor in 2003, mainly teaching first aid to divers. Her focus changed once she became a mother!
The idea of Care for Children First Aid came to Fiona when her youngest child was just nine months old. She recognised a niche in the market and went about writing a business plan. In the midst of all this, RTE's The Afternoon Show advertised for mothers with business ideas to participate in a competition to earn the apt title 'Mumtrepreneur of the Year 2007'. Fiona won the title!
She registered her business on the 1st January 2008 and then she held her first course on the 6th March.
When Fiona appeared on the show last year she expressed how delighted she was with the help and guidance she had received from TAS in helping to make her idea become a business. She spent a lot of time setting up her website and had to rethink her marketing plan.
The one thing she wanted to do was to branch out nation wide and begin her instructor courses. She has started to do this. Since speaking with us last year, she has now trained 5 instructors, 2 in Cork, 2 in Dublin and one in Mayo. She is thrilled that there is a presence in the West.
The idea behind the instructor's course is that once you have qualified you are self employed. You buy into a type of franchise which is run by Fiona. You buy any of the material you need to teach the course from Fiona. She also feels it's very important to keep an eye on the instructor's standards to make sure that they are kept very high. She attends some of the classes also to show support to the other instructors.
Out of the 5 instructors only 2 of them are actively teaching classes, she is trying to give the other 3 the encouragement to get out and do it.
Fiona is over the moon with the way the business is growing, she feels they are really going in the right direction. She is finding that parents are really getting involved and realizing that this is something that they can learn and that the courses are not boring. The word of mouth is great for growing the business.
Aoife who class we were at is very busy. She qualified at the start of the year. The course she runs in Mahon Point Shopping Centre in Cork is very popular. This is her 5th class. The average attendance is about 12 - 15. I supply Aoife with all the advertising materials, flyers etc and she books all the people in.
What does the instructors training course involve?
The pre-requisites to doing the instructor course are:
- that you are over 18 years.
- that you have a current certification in Primary and Secondary First Aid.
- that you have a current certification in Paediatric First Aid.
(If you are currently a working medical professional, the first aid certifications are waived.)
The course itself is a two and a half day programme which concentrates on improving all first aid practical skills to teaching level and most importantly practising excellent teaching and mentoring techniques. There is ongoing assessment and a number of written assessments throughout the programme.
Do they work for you now?
The instructors are self employed franchisees of Care for Children First Aid.
If someone wants to become a trainer what should they do?
If anyone is interested in becoming a Care for Children First Aid instructor they should contact me at 046 9293623 or 087 7691113 or check out the website www.careforchildren.ie
How involved are you with the instructors after they have qualified?
There is ongoing involvement between myself and each instructor. Continued mentoring both technically and in business.
Do you think that you would be were you are today without the help of The Afternoon Show? Did we give you the push you needed?
The whole involvement with The Afternoon Show has been invaluable. Not only the obvious PR aspect, from which I have gained much business but also in keeping me on my toes and not letting the fire burn out. Thank you all so much. I am nicely overwhelmed that The Afternoon Show continues to show interest in my endeavors.
For further information on classes or becoming an instructor go to: