When ideas shine Bright
TWO YEARS AGO Tricia Hercules took on a mammoth task. She needed a job and none was available. So she took a big leap of faith. She started her own business.
“I started Bright Life Family Centre in 2015. One of the main reasons was out of desperation because there was no job available for me. Because of my expertise, having the background as a newly qualified social worker with experience, there were still no open doors for me to walk through in that profession apart from volunteer work with various organisations – nothing that would give me a livelihood.
“In trying to put the idea together I realised I have a heart for helping families because I would have been working with families and teenagers and children through my connection with the Barbados Family Planning Association. That’s where my first grounding came.”
Tricia is a person that exudes warmth, happiness, optimism. She loves to laugh.
“This year it’s taken off since we would have gotten the exposure at Girlfriends’ Expo. That really helped to give us a lot of exposure even though our booth was one of the smallest there. We made an impact, especially with our encouragement board. The idea came from our public relations officer, who facilitated the board for people to put messages,” Tricia told EASY during an interview in the restaurant of a South Coast hotel.
She said after that event they followed up with some of the people who stopped by. Others reached out to them not only for assistance, but to develop partnerships.
For her, everything done is based on her Christian beliefs and allowing God to lead and direct her path.
“How I see it is that He gave me all the ideas to put it together cause when I did settle on the idea and the concept of Bright Life Centre and the name, all these different things started coming to me and things just started to fall into place. It was a period where I was still at the Family Planning and filling in for Keriann Hurley and I found myself typing and typing. It was like a download of information coming to me, all these ideas.
“Over a period of four weeks the entire concept of Bright Life came together. When I checked back, everything was in place. It looked like a laid out business plan . . . . I did my research . . . . I didn’t need to go to a consultant to get it done. It was interesting and I said, ‘Well, God, if you gave me this idea, I’m trusting you to provide’. It was scary because I was definitely walking out into the unknown.
“I was taking a big leap and it wasn’t that I had anything to lose because I didn’t have a full-time job to say I was leaving it. I was teaching at a private school at the time. I love teaching. I love counselling.
“I loved art. I loved God and all of those passions I realised I was able to incorporate into Bright Life, which was a bonus for me because if I could get all of my passions and be able to use them at some point in time, within this thing that God has given me . . . . That takes the cake.”
She is grateful and appreciates Hurley for helping her to grow and providing her with opportunities to counsel people.
Two weeks after doing a soft launch of the counselling centre online, she was invited to present at a workshop and aid participants in their quest of self-discovery. It went well and she was able to incorporate art into it.
“I have a whole lot of ideas but I feel as though I need to build a firm fountain for Bright Life first before I started doing stuff. I have a lot of ideas for events, workshops, programmes,” Tricia said with a laugh.
Her aim is to build the centre into a brand, become a household name so that people will automatically think of them for counselling and know they can be trusted.
She wants it known that they are “approachable, a place for empowerment”, that they can help people through “periods of despair and dissatisfaction”, “that they can rebuild lives” and “take people on a journey so that they themselves get an outlook on how their lives can be through change or taking the journey of change”.
Not one for monotony, Tricia says she was always someone who thinks out of the box. Parents Tales is one such idea.
“Parent Tales started as an online forum on our Facebook page. I used to do posts, come up with various scenarios and make them relatable to the Barbadian society. They would challenge the thinking of parents and ask them for answers to a particular scenario . . . . It was through that forum I would answer back.”
There were so many topics, some considered taboo, that she would tackle. She moved from online to actually providing a meeting space for parents to come together and really talk and unwind, developing the Parent Lounge.
Then, there is the blog where parents and others write about various every day topics that others can learn from.
“Where we are focused right now is on building up parents as people, seeing them beyond the whole role as parents. Our first set of topics were self-development and the upcoming ones would be on self-discovery.
Then in July and August we have something called Dig Deep and Dig Deeper. The rationale is that there’s a lot inside of you, what makes you as a person. What are all those skills and creative traits that you have buried or that you really don’t know or acknowledge?”
To use a cliché, the long and short of it is that she wants to provide parents with the tools and resources to help them and she and her team will continue to reach out to parents using all the media they can. (GBM)