My name is Adrian Hargreaves and I am a recently qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant. In this blog I am going to talk about my role as a CABA champion and share tips on how I maintained my wellbeing as an ACA student.

What does a CABA champion do?

As a champion I support fellow ICAEW members and ACA students by raising awareness of CABA and the fantastic services they provide to chartered accountants and their families. I do this through volunteering at events and sharing my own experiences of qualifying to help others get through it.

Why I wanted to be a CABA champion

I passed my ACA exams in December 2018. When I qualified, I asked myself how I could leverage my qualification and really make the most of it for myself and for others. That's when I found out about the CABA champion scheme.

As I recently qualified, it seemed natural to concentrate on helping students deal with the stresses of managing a challenging work, study, and life balance. If I am able to help just one person in my role then it's certainly worth it.

How I maintained my wellbeing as an ACA student

During my training I told a close friend that I was stressed and felt like I'd taken on too much. She gave me some wisdom that really stuck with me. She taught me about the importance of 'emptying your cup'. The cup will constantly fill up throughout your life, and the aim is to take time to empty the cup through anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle such as exercising. This could be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break. Whatever you choose, try to get at least 20 minutes of basic exercise in each day.

I started to exercise everyday and refused to use revision as an excuse not to. This had a remarkable impact on my life. It helped me to think clearly. I thought exercising would drain my energy. Instead, it gave me a massive energy boost and continues to do so today. I can't remember what I actually did on my lunch breaks when I was training in the early days. Now I make sure I take 1 hour 15 minutes for lunch and finish work 15 minutes later.

I now approach eating healthy and exercise as essential. I prioritise both right up there with brushing my teeth twice a day or turning up to work; you just do it. CABA provide amazing resources to support a healthy lifestyle including online help and guides and the Eat and exercise for energy course.

CABA is here for you for life. As a profession, we have to look after each other, stay connected and keep a good level of perspective.

How CABA can help

Everything we do at CABA is underpinned by our commitment to provide lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, past and present ICAEW staff and their close families. All of our services are free, impartial and strictly confidential.


Get involved

We're looking for Champions on a voluntary basis to help us to raise awareness across the world of our work and make sure past and present ICAEW members and their families understand the support we provide and how they can access it.

Find out more

Written by: Adrian Hargreaves

Adrian Hargreaves is a recently qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant and is currently working in the business solutions department of PMM Solutions for Business LLP in North West England. Adrian is enthusiastic about sharing the tricks and tips he learned during his ACA training days to ICAEW students. Adrian is keen about fitness and exercise and is currently training for a triathlon later this year with a goal of achieving an iron man in the medium term future.

Adrian Hargreaves