Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I’m Vicky Sheppard, I’m 21 and I first started as an apprentice here about five years ago. After a lot of learning and training, and completing my Level 2 and 3 qualifications in business administration, I’m now the office manager at Weardale Adventure Centre! I have a diverse role and I’m very lucky in that I deal with all aspects of the business process from taking initial enquiries to looking after guests while they’re with us, which is rather nice.
Tell us about your business
We are an outdoor activity centre providing a range of outdoor activities including rock climbing, high ropes, canoeing etc. While our main clients are schools, we work with a range of other groups including scout groups, youth groups, and families. We also have residential facilities and our centre sleeps up to 80 people! (I bet you can imagine the chaos!).
What are the most sparkly bits of what you do?
The best bit about what we do is seeing the pure joy on children's faces as they overcome fears and achieve things they never thought possible. It’s very rewarding watching people grow in confidence and develop as a person through an experience you’re giving them.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your business?
Our biggest problem is trying to fill our calendar as we’re fairly quiet from October–March. We are trying to diversify and come up with ideas and events; although this year has been our busiest yet, these months are still pretty tough.
What have been your biggest achievements and how have you celebrated them?
My biggest achievement has probably been achieving my Level 3 Award in Business and then getting my promotion. ☺
What are your goals – for yourself and your business?
My goals are to continue developing myself by learning and expanding my knowledge and skills and to continue to be an asset to our team. The business goals are to continue to expand and grow, providing people with amazing experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
What is your favourite place in the North East and why?
Not sure! Possibly Miller & Carter in Newcastle? Because it’s lovely and our family go a couple times a year and we always have the best time.
Who puts a Sparkle in your eye?!
Everyone that visits and stays with us! Whether they’ve climbed to the top of our rock face, jumped off our leap of faith, canoed the River Wear, or just given something a go!
A final Sparkly thought – what tips would you give to busy, hard-working entrepreneurs?
Do something you love … and enjoy it!
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