Bristol based adventurer, Neil Dennison gave up a successful 15-year teaching career in 2011 having been an Assistant Head for 6 years. He did this to set up a not-for-profit organisation, with his wife Karen, to help vulnerable teenagers in Bristol. The organisation, Urban Pursuit uses adrenaline and adventure sports to help kids at risk of exclusion get back on track with learning. Operations began in June 2012 and they have now impacted many young people around the city and surrounding area.
More information can be found urbanpursuit.co.uk
Our Career Break team asked Neil a few questions to understand his motivation for taking the plunge and doing what he is most passionate about.
What made you decide to make a change?
Didn’t want to get to 60, look back on my life, and realise that I hadn’t entirely used my passions to benefit others
What steps did you take to make the change and why?
Talked to other entrepreneurs, researched the market and local issues, got support from as many others as possible. Taking big risks takes courage and you need as many good people along side you as you can get hold of if you are to stick it out!
What impact did the changes you made have on your life and career?
It has been a real challenge! Both exciting and scary along the way… but the best thing of all is I’m now my own boss and I don’t get that Sunday afternoon feeling anymore – never!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to anybody wanting to take a career break or change?
Follow your passions… find out where these overlap with your aptitudes and go to that place. Do not chase money, chase your dreams and the money to support you will follow.