Business Support Group Helps Dad Start New Chapter
A Teesside man who spent 20 years as a council worker is celebrating a new chapter in his life with the publication of his first children’s book.
'Bobby the Sheepdog and the Burglar', by Peter James Jacklin, follows Bobby’s adventures as a working dog on a farm.
Peter, 57 from New Marske, was inspired to write the book after watching his friend’s Border Collie skilfully round-up sheep.
He is being supported in his new venture by the Redcar and Cleveland Enterprise Team – a group of experts providing help and support to more than 250 companies across Redcar and Cleveland.
Peter said: “I’ve always told stories to my daughters and after much persuasion made a promise to one of them that I would write and publish a couple of my own.
“The book is a bit different in that it’s told from the perspective of the sheepdog, who’s telling the story to a group of children he meets.”
“It’s been called an educational book as there is a big emphasis on learning skills, but first and foremost it’s a book I want children to enjoy reading.
“So far the feedback on it has been incredibly positive.”
Peter approached the Enterprise Team after hearing about the organisation from a neighbour.
The team – part of Redcar and Cleveland Council - is made up of skilled business coaches, and is focused on helping companies across the borough to achieve their goals, including moving premises, increasing their turnover and improving profitability.
The scheme offers Redcar and Cleveland businesses at least 12 hours of free tailored support and in the last year more than 250 companies have been helped and more than 150 jobs created.
Peter said: “The Enterprise Team has helped me set up as a bona fide business and my publisher is exhibiting my book at buyer fairs across the world.”
His book, published by SPBRA, is available online via Amazon and several other websites.
Councillor Mark Hannon, Redcar and Cleveland Council cabinet member for economic development, said: ““It’s fantastic to see people like Peter succeeding in their chosen field, and knowing the Enterprise Team played a part in that success is validation that the free help and support on offer to companies across the borough is making a tangible difference.”
To raise further interest in his book, Peter will be reading the story to children in local primary schools and libraries, accompanied by Bobby, his sheepdog hand puppet.
Peter said: “It’s early days and I’m still finding my way through how the publishing industry works, but I’m hoping this is just the first in a series of Bobby the Sheepdog books.”
“I’m also working with Teesside University to see if I can get it turned into a short animated video for television - it’s all go at the moment.
“Never having worked for myself before and still working for the council there were a lot of things regarding tax and accounting that I needed to get my head around.
“The Enterprise Team helped a lot with this and provided advice about marketing so I can promote myself as an author. The support they’ve provided has been brilliant.”
In addition to supporting businesses the Enterprise Team has also held scores of free pre-start workshops, enabling hundreds of residents to realise their dream of running their own business or exploring the possibility of self-employment.
Find out more about the Enterprise Team at www.theenterpriseteam.co.uk.