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Sharon Sutton

For many years I’ve found that helping people with their mental health has been a great achievement of mine. It’s given me nothing short of a great sense of pride knowing that my help and knowledge has been somewhat useful over the years to others when they have needed it. I will always try my upmost to help people and from time to time & also to do the odd bit of voluntary work for mental health organizations as and when required.

However, as much as I have enjoyed the work I have done and as grateful as I am for the fantastic opportunities that I’ve worked hard for, there came a time for me when I needed paid employment. I couldn’t carry on giving up my time forever for free and I felt like I needed more self worth.

To do something for myself; something that was going to challenge my everyday, where no two days were the same, where I could make fast progress; something different that I could hopefully excel in, to keep me on the move so as to stay active, where I could learn on the job and not have to sit in a classroom, where I didn’t need qualifications, a place where I could work outside, but most of all and above all else with someone that would give me a chance.

That to me was the hardest thing for me to find. Someone to lead and guide me, take the reins, teach me and show me how to maybe make a career.

I applied for a fair few job positions but none that I knew deep down that would feed my soul and give me life. I longed to do something that I would fall in love with that I would spring out of bed like a gazelle for, a job where I felt like I couldn’t learn fast enough and importantly a place where I would get on with my boss.

Admittedly I felt like I had as much chance of finding this type of employment as I did of flying to the moon.

That was until I applied for a position as a Gundog Kennel Handler. After a few chats and a visit I got the position that I wanted and it fitted my hopes for a job. I was extremely lucky to get the position considering I had absolutely no experience with dogs as such. I’d only got my own (first ever) dog a few months before I got the job. I was excited to be back in the world of paid work after 10 years of bringing up the rear and of not being so. I could even take my dog to work with me! How good is that! It was perfect and I’m pleased I didn’t get any other position that I applied for or I wouldn’t be doing what I do now.

Best of all it works for me and my mental health. I have days where I have loads of energy and I’m really constructive and other days not so much, but that’s a good balance to me because some days are not as busy as others.

Sharon Sutton - Working with Bipolar

I have learned so much in such a short time frame and in less than 6 months my boss has asked me if I’d like to be his Assistant Gundog Trainer. I don’t even have to think about it. I can’t wait to move forward.

I thank myself lucky every single day. As the saying goes ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’ and I feel that I’m one of those people.

After all who wouldn’t want to be amongst a pack of Cocker Spaniels, watching them grow, learn and I’ve even been privileged enough to see some pup’s being born.

Needless to say I more than enjoy what I do and I hope I will be in my job for a very long time yet! I love the sense of euphoria that I feel when I ‘get it’ when being taught how to train dogs.

I’m learning which is what I wanted and I am progressing which is what I desired. It’s an amazing opportunity to show my potential for the benefit of the company (Brockwell Gundogs – North East) and I will continue to do my upmost to prove the faith that my boss has always had in me from the off.

Thank goodness for the opportunity and most of all for my boss believing in me. I can’t buy that. It’s priceless and I can’t find the words to express my since and heartfelt thanks for the patience and understanding that I am shown. The support has lifted my career and the generosity of my boss sharing one’s knowledge will forever remain with me.

My heart is filled with gratitude.

To the human that is my leader… thank you very much!

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