Working after Cancer

Cancer Woman’s Business

Sustained By Home Working

Jacqui Burke, who runs Flourishing People from her home/office in West Wratting in Cambridgeshire, has entered the BT Home Business category of the 2010 Remote Worker Awards, in association with BT Business, and hopes to achieve national recognition if they win.

Flourishing People, an HR and training consultancy business which has been trading since 2001, has faced huge challenges recently, when Jacqui Burke, Managing Director of Flourishing People, was diagnosed with breast cancer and faced many months of grueling treatment.

Recently, Macmillan has been engaged in trying to ensure that anyone with cancer doesn’t find difficulties if they want to return to full-time work.  Having seen the proposals, they are excellent as far as the patient’s needs, but sadly the charity haven’t taken on board that the majority of companies in the UK are small businesses – and however much they want to be helpful, the capital often isn’t there to fund someone who isn’t able to work full time.  Added to which, there is a limit to co-workers’ goodwill when they constantly have to cover for someone who can’t give 100%.  Harsh, but in these days of credit crunch this has to be faced.

Jacqui’s way of working – Remote or Home Working – although it might not work for everyone, is an inspiration to anyone faced with health problems, who has wondered if they can cope.

Yes, you can.  and as Jacqui says, “I was determined to continue working throughout my treatment on the days when I felt well enough to do so, not just for financial reasons but also for my own sanity. Being home based enabled me to do this. On days when I felt ok I could come into my office and do just a couple of hours work and then go and rest when I felt tired, with no need to try to cover up how lousy I looked and don the horrible wig!”

Entering for the BT Home Business Award helps to raise awareness of how  home working arrangements can benefit workers who face health and other personal challenges, such as caring responsibilities.

These people might otherwise be unable to work if they have to travel to   an employer’s premises every day.

Flourishing People work with businesses to advise them on how best to support their staff, and how using flexible working practices such as home working can be hugely beneficial to employers as well as to their staff.

Jacqui acknowledges,  “I strongly believe that Flourishing People would not have survived if we hadn’t been home based. The likelihood is that I would have had to shut up shop completely whilst undergoing treatment and then try to reignite the business again from scratch.”

Flourishing People provide HR and people development support to businesses throughout the East of England. For more information please contact:  0845 0945 400

The Remote Worker Awards highlight how remote and home working benefits the environment, business productivity and employees’ quality of work life.  0844 800 8355

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One thought on “Working after Cancer

  1. Jacqueline Irvine August 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm Reply

    Such a fantastic story, truly inspirational! I have also set up my own business having battled breast cancer last year, so I know how focused and determined you have to be to succeed. Good luck and continued success with your business.

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