Champion of the Week
Meet our Champion of the Week: Melanie Ulyatt MBE, Managing Director of One to One Support Services
Hello, I my name is Melanie Ulyatt MBE – Managing Director of One to One Support Services. I’m 46 and have lived in Chesterfield all of my life.
One to One Support Services was founded in 2006, and started out life from a spare room in my house in Wingerworth, Chesterfield. In 2016 One to One Support Services celebrated 10 years in business, so you can say, we’ve come a long way, in a relatively short amount of time.
We provide Health and Social care and Children’s Services, as well as Communications support, industry specific training and qualifications.
We are a Chesterfield based company and as a local lady – it is an absolute pleasure to be Champion of the Week this week, how exciting!
What’s your best memory of the town?
Growing up I have always loved Queens Park, it was a stable of my family growing up, my dad would always take me there to feed the ducks, and so, in turn, I have taken my daughter there too. It’s a great space for families to enjoy and is a real focal point for Chesterfield.
Many years ago, there was I believe a council employee, who had a horse and cart, I think he was a refuse collector in Chesterfield, I remember seeing him all the time in town, and my daughter always loved to feed the horse whenever she saw him. He was a friendly face of the town.
There used to be a star on the top of Dent’s Chemists, every time we saw it growing up, my dad would tell me “Melanie, that star is there for you” It wasn’t until I was a little older that I realised it was a Christmas decoration, but even know when I see it, I still think of it as “my star”. Chesterfield is full of traditions such as the Christmas Tree Lights, Medieval markets, plus a long history of well-established small and large local businesses.
What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?
The Waterside complex, it will create jobs and boost the local economy by bringing in tourism from the surrounding cities and further afield.
How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?
A historic market town with lots of local tradition, plenty to do and see, and a good base for visiting the surrounding area and the Peak District.
What are the positives of running a business here?
The support network for start-ups has always been very good and many people like to buy-local, so the local economy tends to be pretty strong. For those with a keen eye for business and enterprise – opportunities and cliché alert – Gaps in the Market, are often easy to spot. Chesterfield is the ideal place to just ‘Go-for-It’!!
Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?
When I first started One to One, FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) were invaluable, for advice and support. They were there every step of the way when I first started One to One. I felt like I had to give back to them in some way. I am now the Regional Chairperson for FSB for the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Regions and always around to support our 6000 strong members and of course those who aren’t currently members also.
Why did you choose to base your business in Chesterfield?
It’s my home town! I grew up here, I love the town, and all the history it has.
As I said, Chesterfield is home, after a long trip – seeing our great Icon, The Crooked Spire is just fantastic! The town is a fantastic place to grow up, live your life, raise a family and be happy – we are very lucky in many ways…
Chesterfield is such a central hub for everything around it. It is surrounded by major business links from Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and Derby.
Who do you admire in the Community?
MP Toby Perkins & Councillor John Burrows come to mind straight away, I admire them both as I think they have such hard jobs to do and both deserve more recognition than they receive.
Then the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, because as well as everything else they do, they, like myself are business leaders and take a special interest in the local community.
Finally, I admire each and every person who is in any way involved in Community Care, whether they are a paid professional, or they care for a family member. It is not an easy job, and requires a lot of care and dedication.
Who are the aspirations of your business?
Organic growth for the business, increasing our customer base and becoming bigger and better than in previous years; the sky is the limit!
Sustainability – Longevity – Legacy
What advice would you give to someone establishing a business here?
Input and support from local businesses is invaluable. Don’t underestimate the importance of networking and peer support.
If all else fails, call me! I will be more than happy to offer any advice and support.