Windows – a book about unlocking potential
This is the first chapter of a book I’d like to write about my life, unlocking potential and what I’ve learnt form both sides of the tracks – I would really appreciate your views on it . . .
What a beautiful day! I am on a train travelling north to deliver my first appointment as a professional speaker. How did my life get to this point? I look out of the window – it’s a delightful Spring day in April. The sun is shining and the bright colours of spring are washing over me, the beauty leads to a deep breath and a feeling of being grateful for my life today.
Looking out of this window makes me think of the many other windows I have looked out of throughout my life, the people and places that are related to those windows, some are still in my life today – others are gone and some, are shadowy figures that I can’t quite remember.
The date is booked for Wednesday the 2nd June where I will be delivering my first key note speech at the Portsmouth Volunteering Awards that have been set up by Brian Bracher from Portsmouth Together.
Meeting with Brian, I get the brief that explains that I need to deliver a speech that expresses how volunteering can change your life and to get the audience to consider why they volunteer and what they gain.
Its now time to prepare as I have only 10 minutes to deliver this which is going to be tricky as I have so much to say and I run the risk of speaking too fast. Thinking about my speech and delivery gives me the familiar feeling of fear, I smile as I know fear will never hold me back.
My name is Gethin Jones and as I write this I am a 46 year old man that runs his own business. This is a new venture as up until last year I had as successful career within Portsmouth City council. Within the council, I managed a young person’s service that focused on young people who were at risk of entering the criminal justice system. I also managed the Alcohol Intervention Team that supported increasing drinking, heavy drinking and dependent drinking clients. My last role was as a service manager overseeing a staff team of 40 that looked at reducing health inequalities to the most deprived areas of the city. To put this into context I need to tell you about my life post 2006.
Product of the system
I once described myself as a product of the system and have said that the first 35 years of my life can be found in a filing cabinet. My family was involved with social care from the day I was born as my mum was a care leaver, had some learning difficulties and was a single parent with 4 children. In today’s language I was born into a dysfunctional family.