Update concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Distance Learning (Home Study) available at Pitman Training

The impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt all over the world. At Pitman Training, we remain determined to support your learning goals. If staying home becomes required for you in your region, our 250+ self-paced, flexible training courses are available for distance learning. Remote students enjoy the same high level of service and support as our in-centre students. More about distance learning at Pitman Training

Update concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Distance Learning (Home Study) available at Pitman Training

The impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt all over the world. At Pitman Training, we remain determined to support your learning goals. If staying home becomes required for you in your region, our 250+ self-paced, flexible training courses are available for distance learning. Remote students enjoy the same high level of service and support as our in-centre students. More about distance learning at Pitman Training

Q&A: Nigel Higgins

We sit down with last year's Working Dad of the Year, Nigel Higgins...

How have you been since we last spoke to you? 
Unfortunately, I have not been in the best of health. I had a stroke in February which was a huge shock to say the least! It certainly wasn’t something I was expecting to happen and thankfully, I have now fully recovered. It took about four to five months and made me realise that nothing can be taken for granted. Besides that, I have been ok.

Are you still working hard to juggle your career commitments and spend valuable time with your family?
I will always continue to work hard, make sure my family come first and have quality time with my children. However, this can be very difficult because I obviously have to work to earn money, making sure we can have the best life possible. Despite this, I will always strive to have as much quality time with my family as possible because ultimately, family time is the biggest priority.

Have you taken on any challenges or set new goals for yourself over the past year?
If I’m being totally honest, I'm not the sort of person that sets out new goals at the beginning of the year and I never have, but this year, due to my ill-health, I decided that I would try to balance my two jobs. Consequently, my blog has now become much bigger and more important in the way I earn money. Although strange, this is a good thing because I can work from home more, giving me more quality time with the family.

Are there any milestones you’ve achieved over the year, either at home or work?
The biggest milestones for me are all related to my blog. The first, without a doubt, was winning the Pitman SuperAchievers award. It was such an honour to be in shortlisted and then to go on and win meant so much to me!

Other milestones included making two top 10 lists which are run by Vuelio. I'm currently the number 4 dad blogger in the UK, and the number 10 parent blogger in the UK. When I look at the other bloggers in these lists, I’m in awe in how much my blog has grown over the past few years and it makes me very proud to be amongst some of the best bloggers in the UK. Also, I was a finalist in Vuelio’s Daddy Blogger of the UK 2018. I didn't win sadly, but I felt it was an incredible achievement.

Your website already had a huge following, have you noticed an increased awareness around Working Dads over the past year or any particular trends you want to highlight?
There has definitely been a shift in attitudes towards dads. More people respect the fact that dads play a big role in family life. Attitudes have changed from people thinking that dads just make up the numbers, towards the vast majority of people thinking that children benefit from having their dads in their lives, in the same way as they need their mums.
Companies are starting to give longer and more flexible paternity leave to men and that can only be positive, meaning that dads can be involved from the very start of their child's life. The image of dads not babysitting is finally starting to be seen as a falsity by society too, with many acknowledging that dads are parents too, and have an important influence on their children as they grow-up

Through DIY Daddy, do you receive feedback from other dads inspired to become more like yourself and be more involved with their home life
I always receive feedback from dads and it usually revolves around questions about how I find the time to work as a painter/decorator, run my blog basically full-time, and fit in family time. My reply is always the same. I prioritise, and the top of the list is to always make sure I have time for my family. I am always writing lists of everything I have to do at work and this always helps me find more time with my family.

How has the DIY Daddy developed since winning your award, and similarly, what is the next focus for DIY Daddy?
Winning the Working Dad SuperAchievers award has increased my online profile without question. As a result, I’ve been offered opportunities to work with some of the biggest global brands. DIY Daddy is definitely an important part of my income now and it wasn't before I won the award.

For 2019 I have decided to attend more events. Over the years, I have been invited to many events, but have never gone and this was mainly because of the travel involved. However, just before Christmas, I decided to go to an Instagram event at Facebook HQ in London. This event was very interesting and was actually quite exciting so this is something that I intend to do more of in 2019.

Did winning the SuperAchievers award benefit you in any way? If it did, how so?

Winning such a prestigious award is always going to have its benefits and the SuperAchievers award was no different. It has improved my online profile, and opened the door to many opportunities, helping me secure collaborations with big brands on my blog. Thank you SuperAchievers!

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