Success Stories

Redundancy brings an old love to life

Posted in Start

Facing redundancy Viv Ainslie seized the opportunity to return to her love of language and set up her own proof-reading and editing business with support from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team.

Being on notice of redundancy in her role in the council made Viv from Anchorsholme realise that she had to make some big decisions about her future.

She said: “The impending changes to my job situation really made me think. At first I struggled for ideas about what to do next and a little panic crept in.

“It was very worrying. Then it dawned on me that this was my opportunity to do the one thing that I really love through my own business.”

Viv had worked in Leeds for a publishing company as a technical author and editor. She had also spent an exciting time in Spain, originally selling property but swapping to a role with an English language magazine called ‘The Guide’ and a newspaper, the ‘Costa Almeria News’.

She added: “I have a long-held passion for the English language. I have always enjoyed jobs that involve writing, editing or proof-reading. I feel very comfortable doing it and there’s nothing more satisfying for me than seeing a finished piece of work that reads well.”

Viv was encouraged by her husband to look at launching her own business. He had already started working for himself the year before with support from the council’s Get Started team.

She decided it was now or never to start working freelance and offer proofreading and editing to all sorts of people from students and charity teams through to busy professionals and time limited businesses.

The Get Started team provided a range of advice on matters such as creating and developing a business plan, pricing and how to find and target customers.

The service is available for Blackpool residents looking to start a new business. People have access to seminars and a dedicated business advisor to provide guidance. Running alongside existing services a new scheme ‘You Can Do It’ offers specific support to 18 to 25-year-olds thinking about launching a business.

Now Viv is fulfilling her ambitions through her new business, Phoenix Proofreading.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development, said: “It is wonderful to see someone have the opportunity to work in the field that they love.

“I am delighted that the Get Started team were able to advise Viv and help realise her dream and I wish her well in her new venture. I would urge anyone thinking of setting up their own business to contact our team to see how we might be able to help.”

She added: “I am now looking forward to a new career in the world of language. I want to help people bring their words to life and to ensure that they make the right impact for their businesses and audience.

“With all the technology available it is easy to work on a freelance basis with people and teams across the UK and the world.

“I want to show that you can rise from the ashes of redundancy. That was the inspiration for my company name and I want to encourage others who may be going through the same thing to have hope.

“We all have skills and things that we love doing. Look to see if they can create opportunities and remember there is lots of help to get you started.”

To find out more about Get Started call 01253 477147 or email