Nadine Honeybone has proved that great things can happen if you bounce back from life’s adversities, particularly if it is so very close to your heart.
At a time when the country is showing great resilience by fighting back against London’s terrorist attack on March 22, Nadine has seen her charity grow, retreat and now flourish to the extent that it has gone nationwide.
The Penarth-based founder of the Autism Directory charity has a son, Tommy, who is on the autistic spectrum and she revealed how strong a person can be when they believe in something but face a backs-to-the-wall situation.
She told of her resilience to succeed during a fascinating chat with Welsh Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer and Master Coach Dr Bridget Kirsop where Dr Bridget was keen to discover how Nadine’s mindset had brought her through hard times when she was on the point of giving up.
Nadine used and trained in NLP to ensure her mind could overcome obstacles and it certainly has done so.
She told Dr Bridget: “I founded the Autism Directory charity back in 2010. The charity supports and helps families and individuals with autism, helping them get the help they need.
“Like any business, it takes a long time to get started. We had a bit of growth, then a bit of retraction, then a bit of growth. Then last year, it sort of took off.”
Dr Bridget asked why Nadine had founded the Directory. She explained: “It is a subject very close to my heart.
“Tommy, my son, was born in 2004. He was developing normally as babies do and then, at 15 months, he stopped the words that he had gained. He retracted into himself. As a concerned parent, it was ‘what is going on here?
“He is 12 years old now but, developmentory, I think he is around three or four years old.”
As there was little help or support for autistic people and their parents in 2010, Nadine sprung into action and looked at creating something to solve the problem.
“The charity was a bit of an idea which came along. It was just thinking ‘why don’t we run a charity to support other families’. This is because the support and help that we had was just not there. It was just a leaflet and best of luck. We will see you in six months.
“I started finding out things and creating spreadsheets. All of a sudden, those spreadsheets got too big and I began thinking that there is a lot of stuff here that other people would benefit from knowing that needs to be online, hence the directory was born.”
But, as Dr Bridget discovered, it was no overnight success and Nadine had to show tenacity to make it work.
The Directory grew, she appointed Trustees to help and she had a team around her in offices in Sully. But when funding dried up, she had to bring the business back to her Penarth home – and nearly gave up on it.
She said: “It is a business. There was definitely that time when I was back home, it was back on the kitchen table and just me again when I thought ‘No. We are going to close this. It is too much hard work and we are not getting there’.
“But my trustees said ‘Come on! We have something good here. Let’s get on with it’. I thought I’d give it another year and I am glad I did. It was a fine balance.
“I worked on this chartiy for five-and-a-half, nearly six years, without any money coming to myself. I know most business owners will do that, to work for a couple of years without gaining too much of an income for themselves.
” But I know that, when Tommy becomes an adult in six years time, the adult social services will not there for him. The provision for adults with autism are just not around and what is around is not appropriate for a lot of adults with autism.”
Now, her business is off the kitchen table and with a new team, Nadine has offices in Treforest and branches across the UK.
Her fight to make the Autism Directory work has proved fruitful – and it is not finished yet!
She told Dr Bridget that they fundraise to provide resources to help people, adding: “I think all those years of doing NLP has helped underpin what we are doing here.
“We have just started teams in Southampton, Bristol and the West Midlands. We have our core team in the South Wales area and what we want to do is provide community connections with people working on the ground with families and individuals.
“So instead of just saying look on the website, it is actually supporting and helping them find the resources that they need through the resources and research and, if it not on the website, let’s go out there and see what we can find.”
Nadine told Dr Bridget that looking after yourself was crucial to fighting back when the chips are down.
“I think everyone has this thing about failure as a bad thing but it is not failure, it is feedback. This is one of the foundations of NLP. That is a big lesson that not many people are comfortable with, that you have to fail to be successful.
“The reason why people don’t do what they want to do and take the risks is because of this fear of failure. I think if you take that fear away, it is ok to try what you think is right. You are not going to get it right all the time. It is ok not to be ok.”
The Autism Directory is going from strength to strength but it has only been through having a resilient personality that copes with being resilient that this has happened, and that is where looking after the mind through NLP has seen Nadine come out on top.
To find out about being resilient through Neuro Linguistic Programming, search online – usually NLP practitioner and your area is a good place to start.