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‘Tees Up!’ – with Katy Parkinson

Sound Training founder director Katy Parkinson answers our ‘Tees Up!’ questions over a cuppa…

Name: Katy Parkinson
Age: 60
Born: Dalry, Kircudbrightshire
Lives: Guisborough
Job: Founder Director of Sound Training for Reading

When I was at school, I wanted to be… either a chef or a teacher. I managed to combine both my passions by becoming a teacher of home economics – teaching food, textiles and childcare – before training to become a specialist teacher of dyslexia.

The best business decision I ever made was… having the confidence to leave my role in education and step into the business world. I had no business background but my desire to dramatically improve the literacy skills of students was so strong it made me determined to do it.

The worst business decision I ever made was… not starting my company sooner. But I do realise that everyone who has supported me, worked alongside me and helped me build my business would probably not have been around at that time. Finding the right people at the right time makes all the difference and sometimes that can be fate.

The best part of my job is… teaching students and training teachers. It is the most marvellous feeling in the world when you witness that lightbulb moment – when a student, who has been struggling with their reading and vocabulary knowledge, finally see themselves progressing.

The biggest downside of my working life is… perhaps the long-haul flights and being stuck in airports for hours but I am compensated for that because I love the training I’m involved in overseas.

If I could change one thing to help my organisation it would be… to find more time. It’s so exciting at the moment but there’s so much more we can do.

Four words to describe me are… passionate, enthusiastic, determined and hard working.

My business mantra is… You can do it! With the right people around you, all sharing the same goals, values and determination you will succeed.

My greatest achievement is… on a personal level it has to be having a fantastic daughter.

The advice I’d give to business start-ups is… be brave, build a team around you and never be afraid to ask for and take advice from other successful, business-minded people.

The biggest character on the Tees business scene… has got to be Jamie Pennington of Viral Effect. He’s full of life, business-minded and daft as a brush!

Teesside’s a great place for business because… it is up and coming. Lots of exciting young companies are coming out of Middlesbrough and many are supported by our great university.

My biggest frustration about Teesside is… that we don’t shout loud enough about our successes.

My favourite local charity is… Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, who support groups and individuals on Teesside who are less fortunate than ourselves. They really care about our communities.

When I’m not working, I like to spend my time… with my husband working in the garden and then having the time to sit back and enjoy it.

My guilty pleasures are… great food and wine!

The best holiday I ever had was… my first visit to Brisbane visiting my sister and brother-in-law. They both took a month off work to spend the whole time with us. We visited Sydney, spent time on Frazer Island, Hamilton Island, Morton Island and sailed around the Whitsundays.

Not many people know this about me but… I won the Junior South of Scotland Badminton Doubles Championship – though I have to admit my partner seemed to do most of the work!

In retirement, I’ll spend my time… walking, gardening, spending time with family and friends as well as learning a new craft, which will be soft furnishing. My husband enjoys repairing and restoring wooden furniture so I would like to be able to work alongside him.

 

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