A Barnsley College Higher Education student has kick-started her career after launching her own business with the help of iTrust, Barnsley College’s joint venture with Barnsley Chronicle and The Business Village.
Victoria Prendergast has embarked upon a journey that will turn her love for health and fitness into a full-time job after realising that she could help to address the rising childhood obesity epidemic by supporting her local community to get outside and engaged in sports.
Victoria, ex-forces and now studying Coaching, Physical Education & Sports Development at Barnsley College, hopes to open a bootcamp activity group which will be host to a variety of fitness programmes for those in her community, creating a safe environment which is accessible by all.
Victoria said: “I have been a qualified personal trainer for three years now and have been helping local people to stay motivated to keep fit by joining them for runs. I’ve realised that a lot of parents in my local area live such busy lives that they lack that drive to keep fit and to encourage their children to do the same. I see children getting picked up from school in cars and then spending a lot of time on devices and gaming, so they are missing out on really important time being sociable and active. I want to encourage an active lifestyle and make activities more accessible.
“Although I am at the very beginning of my journey and only just starting to put plans in place, there is a lot of help and support from College as and when I need it.”
Supporting students who are interested in starting up their own business in Barnsley, iTrust offers financial support and access to an array of information and guidance such as mentoring from experts and local businesses representatives.
Victoria has been working on her business initiative for quite some time and has begun to take part in further education outside of College. This includes assisting a nutrition class at her local church which has given her fresh knowledge and skills to help those who do not know where to start when it comes to diet and nutrition. Victoria is also currently studying a course which will enable her to understand autism better as she is determined to create an entirely inclusive business where no child is left out.
Through her journey with iTrust, Victoria has obtained a grant totalling £250 which she intends to spend on insurance for a venue to host fitness classes, whilst also covering any costs to ensure that her classes are COVID secure.
Jess Widdowson, Enterprise Team Leader at Barnsley College, said: “Victoria came up with a fantastic business idea, having found potential clients, an ideal location and a genuine gap in the market. With her military experience and love for fitness and nutrition, Victoria has refined her initial idea into something that won’t only benefit her community but also schools and colleges. I am really looking forward to continuing to support Victoria and seeing her business grow and develop.”