11th May 2018

I can’t believe it is just six weeks since I left Cornwall Council and set up my new PR company Trisha Hewitt Communications.

The past 12 months have been something of a roller coaster – at the age of 58 and after 28 years working for the same public sector organisation, I had certainly not expected to be taking on a totally new role running my own company. Definitely a giant leap into the unknown. But one thing I have learnt from the events of the past year is that life is too short to be unhappy. After 27 years of loving my job, things had changed and it was time to leave – however scary the future seemed.

Luckily I have made some fantastic friends and colleagues over the past 28 years who sent me incredible messages of support when I announced what I was going and, in some cases, appeared to be even more excited than I was.

After posting positive messages on social media, many of these people joined me for my leaving drinks at Vertigo in Truro where we celebrated the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.

So, what of the past six weeks?

After sorting out the name of my new venture; designing my business cards ( thanks Hannah of HB Design); building my website – trishahewitt.com – (thanks Graham Smith of Cornwall Reports ); attending courses on how to set up your own business (thanks Outset Cornwall ); and buying a new laptop – I was ready to go.

My first post council job has been helping NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group to produce their annual report (after 28 years working for a local authority this is definitely something I know how to do!) While this may not appear to be the most exciting first new job it has been a really positive experience. I have loved working with the comms team – Laura, Caroline and Leanne – and all the other staff at KCCG, who have made me feel very welcome and I am looking forward to seeing the final document at the end of the month.

I have also been providing communications support for a group who are developing their Neighbourhood Plan (another thing I know a little something about ) and have been working with Visit Cornwall to draft a bid for funding for a new ground breaking project.

At the same time I have pitched for two other exciting projects – another first – and am waiting to hear back. The pitches may not be successful but at least I will have tried and it feels amazingly good to be taking risks and making my own decisions.

Since leaving the council I have discovered all kinds of things:

My previous roles as a journalist and as a communications officer for one of the largest unitary authorities in the country have given me a wide range of skills and experience in all areas of public sector communications, together with a reputation for being good in a crisis ( after all I had plenty of practice at the council).
You are never too old to change your life – you just need to believe you can do it.
If you are willing to ask for help then all kinds of people will be happy to provide it.
I know it is still early days for Trisha Hewitt Communications but the first six weeks have been very positive. As well as pitching for work, I have also been asked to join two charities which work with young people and families.

My advice to anyone who is unhappy at work or just wants a new challenge – go for it.