I moved to industry after 6 and a half years in practice, and spent the last few years broadening out my skills, going beyond accounting to gain experience in strategy, HR and finance. I was working in London at a job that was very well paid but it wasn't great. It was long hours, high stress and I was being micromanaged. I knew it was affecting my long-term wellbeing, so one day I chose to leave. It was quite impulsive really.

After I left my job, friends and colleagues were suggesting I set up my own practice and become a consultant, and that really appealed to me. I decided to go for it. I moved back to my hometown, Manchester, and set up a company offering business advice. As I started doing research for setting up the business, I came across CABA and found out that they offer business grants.

I called CABA and explained what I was doing to find out if I was eligible for a grant. They were really helpful. I filled out a form explaining my circumstances in detail. From the information I provided they explained I was eligible not just for a business grant, but also a relocation grant to support my move back to Manchester and career coaching too.

I was really excited. It wasn't just about the financial help – it was that I had someone who believed in me and could support me in a number of different ways. It boosted my confidence and took away a lot of the stress and worry about starting up business on my own. The coaching gave me someone to bounce ideas and concerns off when I was working on my own and it made all the difference.

I've been in business now for 18 months, and things are going from strength to strength. I have opportunities coming out of my ears! If CABA hadn't been there, it would have taken me much longer to get to where I am now and it could have meant a lot of hardship too. This experience completely opened my eyes to the support available to people in this profession. CABA is there for everyone, not just those in desperate need.

Accountants are programmed to think they should be able to do things on their own and not need support from a charity. But it's better to think of CABA as a professional body that exists to help you grow and prosper. I'm so glad that I got in touch with them.

Learn more about the difference we made in 2018

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please contact us.