Chesterfield News

What advice would you give to your younger self?

While Christmas may be a time of giving, for many people it is also a time of financial worry, with thoughts of bills and debts looming in the New Year.

At some point in our life, we all need a little help and advice, Chesterfield Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is for many people their first point of call.

Highlighting the impact of advice on people’s lives, CAB has teamed up with Destination Chesterfield and asked its network of Champions what resolution, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, they would advise their younger selves to make this New Year.

Chesterfield Champions is a powerful network of individuals and organisations that support the development of the town’s economy, shape its future and showcase all that is good about Chesterfield.

Name: Phil Bramley

Job Title: Editor

Company: Derbyshire Times

“My advice to my younger self would be to not be afraid to take more risks and that there’s nothing wrong with daring to fail. Taking a leap into the unknown is the best way to break out of your comfort zone and we never really learn until we get things wrong.”

Name: Simon Paterson

Job Title: Senior Project Manager

Organisation: Future Foundations

“I would tell my much younger self ‘stop working for someone’s else’s business and start your own!’ Whilst you are living at home, mortgage free with no kids, you have the opportunity to follow your passions and turn them into a profitable business with little to no risk!”

Name: Anna Melton

Job Title: Director

Company: In the Works PR

“If I could turn the clock back, I’d say to my younger self, don’t compare yourself to others and take every opportunity that comes your way. Plough your own furrow and where you encounter set-backs, focus on the solution and not the problem. And smile more.”

Name: Craig Evans

Job Title: Chief Operating Office

Organisation: UK Asbestos training Association (UKATA)

“Accept any funded training you are offered! If your employer offers to fund another NVQ, grab it with both hands. If you can take one piece of knowledge from a course that you retain and implement it has been worthwhile attending. You might feel at the time that you are not interested in another qualification, but these courses are a real path to a future career…. I speak from experience. I began my working career as an apprentice and now lead a national association!”

Name: Vicki Grove

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Company: ra Information Systems

“The New Year resolution I would advise my younger self to make would simply be ‘to live in the moment’. This is easy to say in hindsight of course but life would have been simpler if I had spent more time enjoying the present and less time trying to shape the future.”

Name:  Rod Auton

Job Title:   Trustee

Organisation:   Chesterfield Canal Trust

“I would tell my younger self to build on the good things from last year to make the New Year even better. You will get satisfaction in your job, and your life in general, if you can see improvements. Remember the bad things as well. Analysing and learning from mistakes can be really positive, because that will spur you on to improve.”

Name:  James Pogson

Job Title:   Director

Company:   Northern Tea Merchants

“To my younger self I would say ‘get out into the world and travel.’ I have been lucky to do this as part of my job where I search out new teas and coffees. Through this, I have been able to understand the business inside out – from our suppliers to the products and our customers, which has given me great confidence in doing business. Personally, I have found that travel really does enrich you and transform your outlook on life.”

 Name: Leah Shortt

Job Title: Operations Manager

Organisation: Learning Unlimited

“I’d advise taking more self-care. Living in a society full of pressures as a young person can sometimes be overwhelming, whether that be from school, the media, family or friends.  I remember regularly prioritising these over my own physical and mental health. As I’ve matured, now more than ever, I realise how crucial it is to look after myself and take the time out to focus on me. Looking back, I feel this would have really helped during those difficult and stressful times we all go through as teenagers.”

Name: Peter Swallow

Job Title: Chair

Organisation: Destination Chesterfield

“Be patient, and DO listen to those with more experience than yourself.”

Name: Pasquale Pollio

Job Title: Director

Company: Nonnas Chesterfield Ltd

“Make a plan, stay consistent and go after your dreams.”

Name: Tricia Gilby 

Job Title: Leader of the Council 

Organisation: Chesterfield Borough Council  

“My advice is to not take life too seriously. There’s a line in a Bob Dylan song which I strongly identify with: ‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now…’(My Back Pages, 1964).”

Name: Neil Johnson

Job Title: Managing Director

Company: Derbyshire Building Control Partnership

“Don’t let anyone, including yourself, limit your potential. Think about the things you can and want to achieve. Set a target 30% more than that; you will be surprised at how far you can go by aspiring higher, believing in yourself and putting the effort in to realise your ambition.”

Chesterfield Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Chesterfield is part of a network of 316 independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that give free, confidential information and advice to assist people with money, legal, consumer and other problems. To access help and support, please visit

More information about becoming a Chesterfield Champion

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