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Waywood Enterprises Ltd was founded by Dr Stuart
Stuart's passion for helping others to succeed, supported by his extensive & varied business, training and music experience, underpins the company's ethos & activities.
In a brief interview he discusses his background & talks about his aims, dreams & reasons for establishing the company.
Tell us a bit about your background.
"After gaining my PhD in neuropharmacology I joined the pharmaceutical industry, where I spent more than 18 years. After starting in clinical research I later added a technical support/educational role to clinicians & healthcare professionals. I also provided internal training support to sales & marketing staff, was an active member of numerous cross-functional teams & maintained links as a visiting lecturer & presenter at a local University."
Tell us about your clinical trials training for non-experts?
"During my time in the pharmaceutical industry I met many people from inside & outside the company who had little or no idea about clinical trials. I worked with a good number of these on a daily basis. Since leaving the industry I am still asked by a wide range of people about my work & exactly what clinical trials involve. It seems that if you're in the know you're fine, but finding someone prepared to sit down & explain things in simple terms that non-specialists & people with no scientific background can understand is very difficult. I guess that like so many other 'specialist' areas it's very easy to look inward and become exclusive, rather than looking outward to include people who could be so valuable to expanding our ideas & processes: you don't have to be a scientist or a medic to say something valid. So, I developed the One Day Course for Non-Experts which helps those who feel they know nothing, to find out more. I'm reassured by feedback from those who have been on this course that I make this information accessible, easy to understand & memorable. I think this may be helped by my passion for demystifying some of our scientific 'sacred cows' & helping others to understand for themselves. When I achieve that, I'm happy!"
What about your clinical trials training for Schools?
"Having left the industry & started helping out with the STEM Ambassador scheme, it became apparent that schools really are interested in the whole clinical trial thing. I was surprised recently to see that Health & Social Care and Psychology A-levels both look at clinical trials (also called drug trials) as part of their syllabus. So it's not just 'the scientists' that have an interest in this type of work. Students from Key Stage 3 upwards seem very interested in why we have trials, how they're run, how we can be sure that the results are valid, what happens when things go wrong; all that kind of stuff. But there's a lot of ignorance out there thanks to unbalanced media hype which presents a distorted image especially when something goes wrong, which as with any experiment, it can do. My background puts me in an ideal position to pass on my expertise, experience & knowledge in a balanced & understandable way. My ability to make complex things easy to understand allows me to pass this information on in a way that is accessible even to those with little or no formal science training. There is also a general lack of awareness outside the pharmaceutical industry of just what types of jobs are available once you're in, so I'm able to help 'on the careers front' as well, not only what jobs are available but much bigger questions like 'How do I choose my career?'"
So where does the music fit in to this?
"I have always loved music. My brother (a
retired Professor of Immunology living in Germany) has perfect pitch &
played guitar & keyboards in numerous bands throughout the 60's whilst
he was at university.
I didn't get involved in playing anything (other than the recorder & a bit of piano) until I was 19 when I bought my first drum kit. My passion grew & I soon added World Percussion to my 'repertoire'. My playing has taken me all over the place, including Europe & I have had the privilege of working with some really excellent musicians. I still get a great buzz sharing music with people. In the late 1990's I started a free, impartial advice web site (Waywood Music) for drummers & percussionists on most things related to buying, playing, maintaining & repairing drums & percussion. Recently, we've moved into supplying African & Brazilian drums, plus one of my loves, the cajon or box drum, to individuals & to schools. It's great to choose the individual instruments myself: I have a great relationship with my suppliers so when people order an item I can go down to the warehouse & choose the best one I can find for them."
What about the percussion workshops?
"I started getting requests to help people
expand their percussion & drumming skills. This led to workshops with
musicians which branched out to include a few 'favours' in schools
for teacher friends. Children & adults really enjoyed the
sessions. So I began to work with schools & adult groups.
At this time I was starting to write a few presentation pieces for dancers & drama, which ended up as a CD. I guess I just fused together my passion for talking & teaching, with my passion for people & my 'style' developed. So evolved my fun & recreational creative percussion workshops. I later combined my scientific background, with my love for sharing, teaching & training to expand into running creative (African/Drum Circle) drumming & percussion workshops in schools which enhance & complement the curriculum at Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 levels."
What prompted you to set up Waywood Enterprises?
"Hmmm! That's an interesting question. I
could sum it up in one word; redundancy! But it does go beyond that.
To be brief, when I was working in the industry, I saw many people who could have made a huge contribution to the business & 'office life' but either lacked confidence or awareness that they could make a difference: that was always for someone else.
There were too many people in positions of power & responsibility who actually held the business back through their own lack of creativity & vision. History tells us that some of the greatest successes have come when people have taken some of the greatest risks. An integral part of creativity is experimentation, risk taking & yes, making mistakes or failing. But that was forbidden.
We lost too many good people through lack of vision. There is a saying, "Those who lack vision perish!" We almost did.
I believe that every one of us have creative abilities. These may have been educated out of us, or we may never have had the opportunity to discover what they are. I have this passion for helping people to discover that they have a valid contribution to make & showing them how. Where they lack confidence or self-esteem, I want to be able to build that, help nurture it & inspire them to make their valuable contribution whilst feeling good about it. I'm always amazed how this simple process makes such a significant difference. And once the process has started ..."
Where do schools fit in to this plan?
"Creativity is firmly on the curriculum at all
levels of education. Teachers are charged with encouraging their
pupils to 'be creative'. If I can join in that process & release
a spark in a child here & there, who knows what the result will be.
Children need good role models but many of us adults left our creativity in our junior school. It's so long since we've used it that we lack confidence & often have low self-esteem. I think that trend must be reversed. If I can help teachers to be confident & creative, empowered to inspire their pupils I will have succeeded."
So how do you rate success?
"If I can start one person on the road to success and greatness (however they perceive that) I will have succeeded. If I can help companies retain their most valuable asset, creative people who want the business to succeed I will have succeeded. If I prevent one person from becoming frustrated & cynical I will have succeeded. If I can prevent company assets becoming company liabilities, I will have succeeded. If I can help one teacher to be confident & creative, & enable them to inspire their pupils to be creative then I will have succeeded."
You can learn more about Stuart and his activities & experience at his personal web site, StuWood.com
"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
The Bible: Proverbs Ch 29 v 18
Read Stuart's testimonials from customers & colleagues.
Waywood Enterprises Limited endeavours to use recycled and environmentally friendly materials wherever possible. We also strive to ensure that any products we sell are made using sustainable or replaceable resources and those employed in making products receive a fair wage for their work.
Dr Stuart Wood
31 Burder Street
|Telephone||+ 44 1509 553362|
|Mobile:||+ 44 7814 628123|
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