At the age of 55, I suffered a stroke while at work losing all sensation down my right hand side and unable to stand up without falling over. I made a full recovery and, eight years on, my life is very different.
The stroke started me thinking about what was important in my life and led me to leave my 25 year career in social housing. I started my own business as a coach and trainer working with individuals and groups to help them to develop as managers and leaders.
Many people experience some kind of life changing event, whether it be ill health, relationship breakdown, redundancy or some other catalyst that triggers in them a searching for what s important. For others it may be that they have had enough of whatever it is they are doing and want to make a change.
My Life My Retirement is my opportunity to work with people who are either at or approaching retirement and with those who have experienced that trigger point that makes them want something different, to help them create the life they choose.
I grew up in the North East of England and spent my formative years living in Saltburn, a seaside town that was developed by early railway pioneers to bring people from Middlesbrough for a taste of the sea air.
Dominating the coastline a mile to the east of Saltburn, Huntcliff is a vertical sea cliff standing some 365ft above sea level and is a site familiar to all visitors of the town.
As a young lad, living in Saltburn, it was a short walk to reach the top of Huntcliff to the site of the old signalling station which has now been almost completely lost.
Standing on the top of Huntcliff, buffeted by the wind blowing in from the North Sea, I would look out to sea beyond the ships waiting for the tide to take them into Tees Dock and gaze at the distant horizon.
Feeling the solid mass of Huntcliff beneath my feet, tasting the salt sea air of the cold North wind and smelling the seaweed from the shores down below, I could follow the grey swell of the waves stretching as far as the eye could see and it was easy to believe that the possibilities in life were endless.